Oconee Street United Methodist Church, which had its historic 111-year-old sanctuary destroyed in an April 15
fire, will break ground on a new $2-million facility on the corner of
Oconee and Poplar Street in a special groundbreaking ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m.
The 30-minute ceremony will include choir singing; comments by Athens
Mayor Nancy Denson, UMC District Superintendent Dr. Gary Whetstone and
Pastor Lisa Caine; the ceremonial 'turning of the dirt' with church
dignitaries; and an opportunity for church members and any guests
(including children) to place a brick of the old church structure into a
chest that will be later crushed and used to build the new church.
The ceremony begins promptly at 3 p.m. followed by a reception at The Flat's apartment complex located directly across the street from the church.
After months of planning, the church has contracted with local
architects Armentrout Matheny Thurmond and local contractor Driver
Construction to conduct the rebuild. The new facility will be
environmentally sustainable and completion is expected by January 2015.
The estimated cost of $2.3 million will be covered by roughly $1.8
million in insurance loss coverage and $500,000 in donations. Since the
fire, the church has raised roughly half that amount.
As always, more information about the rebuild and how to donate is available by clicking here.