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Friendship Baptist Church
By: Jennifer Walker-Journey

Years before the leadership of Friendship Baptist Church in Owasso, Oklahoma, was ready to build a large, new worship space to their existing facility, members of Churches by Daniels began working to win their trust.

The company started talking regularly with Randy Baskins, who was the chairman of the church's building committee. Over the previous decade, Randy and the committee had overseen the construction of the church's existing facility. They were a great team, but the large worship space the church had in mind to build would require some assistance.

Churches by Daniels stayed in contact with Baskins for more than year until church leadership were ready to move forward with their vision. They agreed to meet on a Saturday with the company's owner, Charlie Daniels.

Daniels knows churches from many different angles. His father was a pastor and as a young man, he had helped his father build smaller churches. He later started his own company, working almost exclusively on church projects at any phase of the design and construction process, from new construction to renovations, remodeling and expansion projects.

"It was a great meeting, and he felt like we connected," said Rachael Rowland, director of sales and marketing for Churches by Daniels. "Randy really seemed to appreciate what we wanted to bring to the table."

The building committee chose a complete design-build package, which included meetings with an architect to flesh out the details of their vision. Leadership knew they needed a much larger sanctuary but could not decide if balcony seating or stadium seating was preferred.

"We took the entire building committee on tours of some projects we had done in the area so they could see our work firsthand," Rowland said. "We had a project we had just finished in Laurel, Mississippi, that was similar in size and budget, so that was a good selling point for us, as well."

And the company shared another Churches by Daniels project a building that featured a large children's area, a component that piqued the interest of church leadership. The committee thought this would be a great opportunity to make church fun for little children.

The team decided on a new 56,000-square-foot expansion, more than doubling the existing facility.  It included new parking area leading to a new porte cochere, which would provide a convenient covered drop-off area.

Once entering the building, attendees would be welcomed by a large gathering space with a two-story arched wall of windows and a large grand staircase leading to an upstairs coffee bar and adult classrooms, and overlooking the mezzanine.

A 1,200-seat auditorium-style sanctuary was also planned with theater seating, a new environmental projection system, and a second floor elevated baptistery. The space also included a two-story indoor play area for children. Finally, the old sanctuary would be renovated and converted to a multipurpose fellowship hall.

Churches by Daniels teamed up with Erector and Roofing contractor Mini Erection Services and designer Daman + Lechtenberger Architects. Construction went smoothly and by Spring 2013, Friendship Baptist Church welcomed its members to its new worship center.

The finished project was an artistic success, earning the Midwest Steel Building Company Design-Build "Building of the Year" competition.

Industry website DesignandBuildwithMetal.com had the following to say of the project: "The simplicity of its lines belies the complex engineering and metal construction at the heart of the Friendship Baptist Church. The existing church building and the new building were joined by an arched wall fabricated from segmented steel with double-framed walls."

Additionally: "The project also included cantilevered cat walks and intricate hips and valleys in the framework. Additionally, there is a circular covered walkway between the old and new buildings one end wall of the church is 'stair stepped,' and the roof was a combination of membrane and standing seam with B-deck underneath. The standing seam hipped roof slopes in seven different directions, which added drama and complexity to the project."

Since the project was completed, members of Friendship Baptist Church are making good use of their new building and are better equipped to build relationships with the community through various events. After all, Rowland added, relationships are key to the success of most endeavors and has been pivotal to the success of Churches by Daniels. 

"We like to say that we don't just build churches, we build relationships," she said. "That's really important to what we do."

Churches by Daniels is an outstanding team of professionals who work alongside your building team, to bring building projects to completion within budget and on time, and with a passionate commitment to quality, detail and service, www.ChurchesbyDaniels.com.

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