Boone’s Perkinsville Baptist Church is planning a new multipurpose facility, increased parking and other improvements to accommodate its growing multigenerational congregation.
The church on Feb. 7 received a special use permit and two development code variances from the Boone Board of Adjustment for the project, which church leaders say will be completed in phases.
“It’s been many, many years since we’ve had any increase in square footage, and we’ve grown significantly,” Perkinsville Pastor Seth Norris said. “We’ve been hard-pressed for space for a couple years now.”
Perkinsville Baptist was founded in 1947. Located at 247 Jefferson Road (N.C. 194), Sunday morning church attendance during the spring and fall is up to 400 people and growing by about 50 people per year, Norris said. The church holds Sunday morning worship at 8:45 and 11 a.m.
“During primary use times, every single room is utilized,” Norris said.
In October 2017, the church began its Beyond campaign, a three-year commitment to prayer, living on mission and investment in expanded ministry facilities.
“Our vision, our heart at Perkinsville is we exist for Boone and beyond,” said Norris. Our first calling is to Boone, we’re called to this community, but we also recognize that our calling is beyond — beyond our geography and beyond our generation.
The centerpiece of the church expansion project will be the Beyond facility, a 15,000-square-foot building that will provide space for children’s ministries (which are currently housed in the basement of the church building) and a multipurpose fellowship hall and training room. The space’s uses will include weekly and special events, a summer camp, regional and statewide training events, mission training, meetings and community use. The space will more than quadruple the seating space of the current fellowship hall.
“We want to give the best space possible to the next generation,” Norris said. “It’s remarkable, the even distribution of every generation in our church. We have a robust college community, a lot of young families, all the way up to a large number of retirees. That’s our focus: creating a culture of multi-generational worship and a multi-generational church. One generation is commanded to pass on the good works of the Lord to the next.”
According to the plans, the project also includes the realignment of parking lots and addition of parking to total approximately 155 parking spaces. The entrances on N.C. 194 will be reduced from three to two, and the paved area between two of the existing entrances and adjacent to the highway will be removed. Sidewalk will be installed along the N.C. 194 frontage.
The area of the property fronting Perkins Street will include a playground and a prayer garden.
“We have just over four acres of land, so we are maximizing the space we have and trying to utilize every square inch of it,” Norris noted.
Norris said the church had hard conversations during its vision workshops in 2017 — including the prospect of finding a new location. But due to the cost of land in Boone, that likely would have meant relocating outside of town limits.
“A lot of our character and culture at Perkinsville is a result of our location, development and growth,” he said. “We recognize that being in Boone is strategic to us and important to us. It’s important to who we are.”