Sunday, March 1

Dear Church Family, 

In the fall of 2019, after reviewing the heating and air conditioning systems for the church, we determined that having a plan for replacement of some of the older components might be a good idea. Although the units serving the Family Life Center and the Preschool Hallway are newer, the units that serve the Sanctuary and the buildings on the east side of the campus are much older and show significant signs of age. Two air handlers were put into service in 1964, so replacing them was identified as a first priority. Additionally, after replacing freon multiple times in another unit throughout the summer and limping through fall with a bad compressor in the chiller, we knew that being proactive in updating the system was preferable. With components as complicated as ours, waiting until the systems were broken to replace the system might result in significant displacement from the Sanctuary. Of course, replacing parts of the system would be an option to cut down on time away, but it would serve merely as a temporary band-aid rather than a permanent solution. 

Once we determined a need, we spoke with our regular HVAC company (AComfort) about replacing the 1964 air handlers. They also began working on a plan to eliminate the R-22 freon cooled system and move to a water-chilled system. Their proposal consists of replacing the big chiller on the roof over the music suite, replacing the two 1964 air handlers (which reside in the basement), and eliminating a unit which is also on the roof, using the new chiller to take on that load. Their bid for this work is $262,000. 

We were in contact with another HVAC company at the time (ABM Building Solutions) and they returned a recommendation and a bid for updating our system. They suggested a higher tonnage system, and ultimately, their bid was $489,756, with an additional $195,852 to replace the big chiller. 

Various church members and staff spoke with AComfort to clarify the urgency of replacing various part of the system. The 1964 air handlers were identified as the most immediate need due to the age, availability of components, past freon leaks, and the eventual phase out of R-22 freon altogether. The big chiller was identified next on the priority list. The availability of circuit boards, contacts, and phase out of R-22 freon are all factors that weighed on this decision. Due to age, once the existing components are gone, no more will be manufactured. While AComfort did confirm that we might be able to continue “as is” for a time, being proactive was definitely the preferable way to go. 

After establishing a need, we set about identifying potential funding. About 7 years ago, a document called the “7-Year Plan” was created to project our First Baptist’s estimated future capital expenses. As a result, we have been funding most of these items in the Property Fund designated account. In 2020, $180,000 was needed to fund the requirements in the plan. This consists of $10,000 for interior painting, $8,000 for deep cleaning, and $162,000 for the big chiller. The amount needed for the air 

handlers had already been funded in an earlier year, so along with other funds already in the Property Fund, the amount available in the account is $136,000. Additionally, the Endowment Foundation returns a portion of yearly dividends to the church. This year, $48,239.10 was made available to us for property needs. In addition, the Finance Committee approved funding from additional funds and our “Uncommitted Cash.” The total breakdown of funding is as follows: 

Total Funding Needed: $262,000.00 (for HVAC) + $18,000 (other 7-year plan items listed above) 

Property Fund $136,000.00 

Foundation Funding 48,239.10 

Lewis Fund 75,160.18 

Building Fund 5,484.10 

Carlisle Property Fund 9,252.88 

Uncommitted Cash 5,863.74 

Once funding was identified, the project was taken to the Deacon body for a vote, and the project was approved by the deacons on February 10, 2020. 

On March 1, there will be a called conference for the congregation to vote on moving forward with this project. If approved, it would take 6-8 weeks for the components to arrive, and then about 2 weeks for the project to be completed. The goal is to only be out of the Sanctuary for one or two Sundays. The replacement of the big chiller requires a crane, and we feel that using the crane would best be done on a Saturday morning when there’s less traffic in town. 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the church office. 


Bonnie Brown, Deacon Chair 

Angela Rooks, Finance Committee Chair 

Gloria Treadway, Properties Committee Chair