Accessing Our Church House During Demolition
Over the next few months as you visit our buildings at First Baptist Church on Fifth, you will newly see a large fence encircling Buildings B & C. As you know, the entirety of our back parking lot will be closed off for the duration of asbestos abatement and demolition of Buildings B & C, creating the space necessary to house all the construction equipment needed for this work and to ensure the safety of all folks entering and exiting the building for this 10-12 week period.

A number of you have asked about access to ground floor entryways in Building A. Please make note of the following changes:

  • For the next several weeks until demolition begins, the Poplar Street entrance to the breezeway will be available for cars to pull in and drop off at the handicapped access door there near the elevator. Please note that the breezeway will not be construed to drive all the way through! Should you need to drop someone off at this door, you will then need to back out carefully onto Poplar Street. Access here will be closed for several weeks during demolition.
  • For the Sundays throughout the duration of our parking lot closure, especially the Sundays where demolition will close our access to the breezeway, the Spruce Street-side parking spot right up against the building next to the dumpster will be available as a drop-off spot for those who need ease of access to the building.
  • All three ground-floor entryways into Building A (including two doors from the breezeway and one on the Spruce Street side in between the Baraca Room and Kelly Auditorium) will be replaced with glass doors, and equipped for handicapped entry and keypad/buzzer entry during the week.

Should you visit the church house for worship on Sundays or during the week, parking for the congregation is available in the following locations on or around our block:

  • The parking lot of the John 3:16 building at the corner of 6th and Poplar (anytime)
  • The Winston-Salem Journal parking lot and adjacent gravel lot at the corner of 5th and Spruce (Sundays)
  • Street parking at meters on 5th Street and Spruce Streets (anytime)
  • Street parking on Poplar Street (Sundays)

Within a block or two of the church are several parking garages and other surface lot options should you need them. If you do not experience mobility challenges and have the capacity to park farther away during this time of disruption, please do so!

Finally, as you are inside the building, you’ll notice that all the one-seater restrooms in Building A are now available for anyone to use. Should you be looking for these when you’re in the building, there are two on the ground floor, one on the second floor, and two on the third floor. Two toilets for women’s use only remain just outside the Bridal Suite on the ground floor. Within a few months, we will be adding three more of these family restrooms with handicapped accessibility, two in the Sanctuary narthex and one more on the second floor.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility in this season of transition! We on the church staff appreciate your willingness to endure a bit of uncomfortability as we move forward together for the future of our church!

This week around the church house…

Interior walls were constructed where access to Buildings B & C formerly existed over the breezeway bridges. Abatement of Building B has begun, and the contractors from Foss Demolition are hard at work onsite already!

Final construction documents were reviewed by our design team, representing months of painstakingly detailed work by our brilliant architect, Joe Bircher, and his capable team! They are now “out for bid” among dozens of subcontractors, and we await their response.

This past Sunday, our children ages 3 through 5th grade enjoyed their new “children’s loft” (formerly the youth loft on the 3rd floor), where they will be housed through Phase One of our renovation. Thanks to the tireless work of Stephanie Manasa, our summer ministerial intern, and her team of volunteers for making this possible!

The Winston-Salem Journal ran a story this week about our church’s upcoming transitions of facilities and mission. If you missed Monday’s paper, you can catch it online at the link here:


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