Expanding with churches
Published Dec. 11, 2019
Partnership with Master's Plan brings immediate results; "I am thoroughly enjoying this"
TULSA (Dec. 11, 2019) -- Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors ends 2019 with eight different church expansion or renovation projects underway and more on the horizon.
Many of these developed through a strategic partnership with another Tulsa firm, Master’s Plan, a turnkey church design and construction firm launched earlier this year by Rodney C. James.
"I am thoroughly enjoying this," said David Reed, principal and co-founder of Tulsa-based Sparks Reed. "Rodney's team is great to work with."
The two firms bring unique perspectives to their church efforts.
Sparks Reed’s founders are devout Christians who have worked on many such projects through their careers. This experience adds to Sparks Reed's successful track record of architectural and interior design efforts across many fields, from sports and education facilities to office, retail, and service(s) buildings, municipal districts, and park plans.
“That’s very good for us and what we do,” James said.
James, whose father was a builder, pastored a Tulsa area church for two decades before entering the construction field. He oversaw multiple expansion and renovation projects while serving his church. Through Master’s Plan, James has a team of subcontractors able to provide all skills needed to complete any church project.
“The uniqueness that I have really sets us apart,” said James. “We look at everything with the skills of an architect but the eyes of a pastor. I know what our clients feel, what they’re trying to achieve. That helps our team partnership with Sparks Reed design sanctuary spaces to make the client’s vision work.”
This business relationship came together through Sparks Reed co-founder Gary Sparks. James, who had hired Gary under Sparks Companies before Sparks Reed formed, contacted his friend early this year about finding a design partner for a project Master’s Plan had in hand. Sparks arranged a meeting between James and Reed, who had worked for Sparks at that earlier firm.
“The three of us met, and we hit it off,” said Reed. “We’ve been drawing for Rodney ever since.”
Five of Sparks Reed’s eight ongoing church projects originated with Master’s Plan. James said another four churches are considering contracts, with two more at the interview stage.
“It’s only going to get better, the more we do together,” said James.
Current Sparks Reed/Master's Plan projects
First Baptist Church, Glen Rose, Texas: This church plans to renovate and add space to create a new gathering place for the growing congregation. It also intends to add new administrative and children's areas. James said these projects would accommodate First Baptist's next expansion phase, a new sanctuary. Having completed a capital plan in November, James said the congregation will vote Dec. 15 on the building contract. Allowing for five to six months of design and permitting, James said this 12,000-square-foot project could open near the end of 2021.
Grace Community Church, Bartlesville, OK: Sparks Reed and Master’s Plan are renovating and designing new children’s and youth space for Grace. This 14,000-square-foot project is in the design/development stage.
Memorial Church of Christ, Tulsa, OK: Master’s Plan was in discussions with church leaders about a separate effort when a fire gutted much of Memorial’s existing campus. Sparks Reed and Master’s Plan are now working on schematic designs for rebuilding and expanding this church. These remain in the due diligence and feasibility stage while Memorial works through fire recovery issues.
Providence Church, Albany, GA: This project brought about the Master’s Plan/Sparks Reed partnership. Master’s Plan needed an architectural firm that could come in and supply drawings for a new sanctuary, classrooms, increased gathering space, and a coffee shop. Sparks Reed delivered on that 19,000-square-foot project, which Master’s Plan hopes to finish construction on by spring 2021.
Trinity Baptist Church, Kerrville, Texas: James said this expansion and renovation passed through several variations as the church contemplated a street closing and relocating power lines. Having a design concept now in hand, church leaders have voted to move forward with the project. With four to five months of design ahead, plus permitting needs, James said construction could begin by mid- to late summer, with completion in late 2021 or early 2022.
Separate Sparks Reed church projects
Crossroads Community Church, near Mannford, OK: Sparks Reed designed a 5,000-square-foot fellowship hall and youth addition for this project. The church hopes to start construction in the first quarter.
Evergreen Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK: This effort evolved from a master plan and phase-one construction project in 2006. All three Sparks Reed co-founders worked on that under Gary Sparks’ original firm. As the church prepared for phase four, its leadership – intact for two decades – came to Sparks Reed to draw up a new worship space able to seat approximately 2,000 people. That project is in the conceptual design phase. “That was one of my first projects with Sparks, so it’s really exciting and an honor to return to it,” said Reed.
Victory Church/Bible College, Tulsa, OK: Victory Bible College has started construction on the first building outlined under a campus master plan developed by Sparks Reed. LD Kerns Contractors hopes to finish this 40,000-square-foot building by August. While this Sparks Reed design represents a college expansion, Reed said the building also will provide meeting space for Victory Church youth programs. He expects the facility to improve ministry impact and operations for both organizations.