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Kansas City Baptist Temple
By: Skyler Phelps

 Kansas City Baptist Temple is a culturally and generationally diverse church that straddles the city limit line between Kansas City and Raytown in Missouri. The location of their facility, diversity of their congregation, and the growth of their ministries truly makes KCBT "A Church for All Peoples."

Kansas City Baptist Temple dedicated their new, 2-story 43,000-square-foot Children's Education and Fellowship Foyer addition this past summer.

KCBT invited Mantel Teter Architects and their planning partner, Strategic Dimensions, to guide their leadership team through an analysis of their attendance records, growth patterns, space constraints, financing, fundraising potential, and ministry goals.

The information gathered during this process made it clear to the church leadership team that improving their Children's Education Space and providing effective Community and Connection Space were the areas of greatest need. The strategic planning process also helped the church come to terms with potential project costs and funding resources.

The building addition presented an opportunity to update the main building façade to reflect the current culture and identity of the church.

The new main entrance is readily identifiable and welcoming with large expanses of glass protected by a large drive under canopy.

The occupant experience throughout the facility is enhanced by diffused daylight that is controlled with silk screen glass, light shelves, and sun shading devices.

The Fellowship Foyer serves as the church's "living room" where visitors are welcomed and gathering is encouraging for large and small group fellowship and connection.

The "Portico" café, adjacent to the Fellowship Foyer, sets the standard for coffee ministry in the Kansas City Metro Area. The design of the café seating area serves as a "front porch" to KCBT members and the surrounding community.

The children's education spaces were designed to be welcoming and inviting with a central children's check-in station and flexible classrooms that support their rotational education model.

Children at KCBT have the opportunity to choose from a variety of learning formats that best suit their learning styles and interests. The learning environments include a worship space, a state-of-the-art theater, art rooms, a sports room, and a mystery room.

On dedication Sunday, Pastor Jeff Adams, said that he enjoyed "seeing people just mill around, converse, and interact, just like this was really the living room of the church. That was the plan!"

He shared his favorite story from the day, and one that he communicated at the beginning of each service: "It's early before the first service, and a mother and her little girl are coming into the new building. Seeing the little girl's wide eyes, the mother says, 'Now, just remember that this is NOT Heaven.' The little girl looks up at her mother and says, 'But Mom, this IS Heaven for kids!'"

The church leadership team maintains a strong desire to continue expanding their ministries and improving the architectural appearance of the entire campus. 

The master plan includes aesthetic improvement of the existing building facades, additional children's education space, youth spaces, and a 1,500-seat worship center.

Skyler Phelps is vice president of Mantel Teter Architects, Inc., www.mantelteter.com.

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