Roopville Road Baptist Church
By: Jennifer Walker-Journey
The town of Roopville, Georgia, encompasses less than a square mile and boasts a population of barely 200. It lies south of Carrollton, the county seat of Carroll County, and is just an hour’s drive to Atlanta. Roopville is also home to Roopville Road Baptist Church, a large presence along Scenic Hometown Highway 27 with membership more than three times that of the town.
Founded in 1978, the church enjoyed much success since its early days in a modest 40-by-90-foot, two-story building. By the early 2000s, Roopville Road Baptist had added an educational wing, a 32,000-square-foot Christian Life Center with Fellowship Hall, and a large multipurpose center for special events, basketball and volleyball games, exercise facilities, and education space.
What the church sorely needed now was a Worship Center that could accommodate a growing congregation, church administrative offices, nursery/preschool accommodations and Sunday school space. Church leadership called on CDH Partners Architects in Marietta, Georgia, to help design the new facility.
CDH principal and architect David Strickland and project manager Bobby Weiner determined that the addition would be sizeable enough to create a new identity for the church, which at the time consisted of a small, red brick sanctuary and a metal multipurpose building.
To be more inviting to young families and the community as a whole, architects designed the new Worship Center in a contemporary rustic style with stucco accented with natural stone. The façade of the older facilities could be updated to blend with the newer portion for a more uniform campus.
The design consisted of a 54,000-square-foot building with a two-story, 1,200-seat sanctuary accented with stone and wood to create a warm and welcoming environment, and a platform to hold 75 choir members.
Riser seating was fanned around the stage, which would enable congregants to feel closer to the pastor during worship services. Windows in the sanctuary would be minimal with motorized shades to darken the room for video presentations.
A new, covered entry was created with stone columns and a well-lit cupola. Large windows were used to provide an abundance of natural lighting to flow throughout the lobby space. Inside, floors were designed with stained concrete, luxury tile and carpet.
The state-of-the-art facility would also include audio and video booths, and theatrical lighting. Other features included a music rehearsal suite, preschool education wing, and a café. Several gathering spaces throughout the center would provide additional space for fellowship.
The expansion also included an administrative wing and an educational wing for children and preschool.
Close attention was paid to the children’s area to include safety features such as a check desk and create a playful environment with bright colors, spacious rooms and a children’s theater themed as a fire station.
Plans were set by 2010, and all seemed to be a go, until the economy tanked. The financial crisis, considered to be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, stifled construction across the country and halted Roopville Road Baptist Church’s expansion plans. But church leadership never gave up the dream of building the Worship Center.
“They were very committed to this project because they started the process when times weren’t so bad. Then times got bad but they stuck with it,” Weiner says.
Two years later, church leadership was ready to take another look at the plans. However, the church would have to make some sacrifices if they were to afford to build the facility.
“We worked through some cost savings options and we made it work,” Weiner says.
Some of those options included postponing the updates to the facades of the older buildings until the church could acquire more funding.
The church also took other measures to ensure lower maintenance costs in the years to come, such as choosing stained concrete and luxury vinyl tile flooring. Stucco and stone on the exterior also are more durable and don’t require as much maintenance as other exterior surfacing.
Construction began on Roopville Road Baptist Church’s grand new expansion in 2012, and nearly 18 months later was completed and ready for use by September 2014. The results are stunning.
“The church has a really nice feel to it. Very progressive,” Weiner says. “We tried to be very economical, and they ended up getting a lot of building for the money.”
CDH Partners consists of a professional team of architects, interior designers, engineers, and specialists, who are committed to client-centered design. The firm listens to its clients’ needs to provide project-driven and design-focused solutions, www.CDHpartners.com.
Images courtesy of Scott Wang Photography