|More than 275 Live Oaks Community Church friends and family gathered Monday morning, along with approximately 460 online viewers, to celebrate the breaking of ground for Phase II of LOCC’s Woodridge Campus plan to facilitate our church’s ever-expanding ministries. White painted stripes on freshly mown grass mapped out the new building’s floor plan as attendees stood, or sat in lawn chairs, at socially safe distances around the perimeter of what will become our new Worship Center.|
Special guests included Bob Dahl, CEO of Cassia Senior Care Organization (owner/operator of our neighbor and partner in ministry, Trinity Springs Senior Living Community); Gary Lester, vice president of community relations for The Villages; Jason McCray, first vice president and commercial loan manager for Citizens First Bank; Janmari Cash, Living Oaks Campaign chairperson; Dave Bussone, LOCC Building Committee chairperson; and our building contractor, Chap Dinkins of Dinkins Construction.
Groundbreaking Celebration Collage
Bob Dahl recalled a pre-Phase I gathering some six years ago at the very same location when it was just a cow pasture. “We prayed for God’s wisdom, God’s intervention, God’s plan, and God’s blessing as we anticipated the day when we would buy this property and launch a new community of worship and care,” he said. “We are so happy to be celebrating with you today.”
“This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!” exclaimed Gary Lester of The Villages, a former Presbyterian minister. “I’ve enjoyed hearing how this church has been so purposeful and thoughtful about ministering to this community at this time in history,” he said.
Jason McCray not only partnered with LOCC’s building committee to secure the church’s construction loan from Citizens First Bank, but he and wife Casey also joined the LOCC family as members almost four years ago. “God’s plan was to use this church to save me personally,” Jason testified. “Now we can see that God is using this expansion to possibly do the same thing for hundreds of other people in our community. It is truly an honor to be able to serve Him and this church in His grand plan for all of us.”
“God’s plan was to use this church to save me personally.”
“This church is your tool and your platform to reach out to the souls yet to come,” observed building contractor Chap Dinkins. “It’s an exceptional honor for God to use our talents and gifts to tangibly expand His kingdom. We’ll do our best to be good stewards of this project, to give you the very best quality work, and to honor God with excellence in all that we do, with our words and our actions.”
Chap acknowledged both his team and the extraordinary talent of project architect Andrew Copeland of KP Studio Architect, P.A. One particularly striking feature of Andrew’s design is the 100-foot tower anchoring the southeast corner of the new structure, at the top of which a lit cross will be visible in every direction for miles around. “That lighted tower reminds me of a lighthouse,” remarked Building Committee Chairperson Dave Bussone. “In New England we have lots of those. And they are built to make sure that ships can safely navigate in the harbor. This lighthouse is going to help souls navigate salvation.”
To thank them for their tireless efforts preparing for LOCC’s Phase II expansion, both Dave Bussone and Janmari Cash were presented with framed artist’s renderings of the new building and tower.
Elder Chair Dave Bratton preceded the actual breaking of ground with a prayer of gratitude for and protection over project partners Cassia, Trinity Springs, Dinkins Construction, Citizens First Bank, and K.P. Studio; the leadership of Live Oaks Community Church; and the people who call Live Oaks home. “When those who will someday call this place their home say, ‘You loved us and cared for us because you prepared for us before you knew us’” he concluded, “let us be quick to say, ‘To God be the glory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’”
Teaming up to turn the first golden shovels full of earth were Bussone, Cash, LOCC Administrator Paul Erdmann, McCray, Holck, and Dinkins.
Then elders Dave Bratton, Bill Olthoff, Dan Rude, Chris Holck, Bill Hicks, Tom Albert, and Pat Nuss executed a second round of earth-turning.
And the LOCC staff performed a third and final round.
Gesturing to the grassy expanse beyond the newly dug holes, Pastor Holck said, “This footprint, this building, is the right size for the church we are right now. But it gives us the opportunity to keep growing. We are building this not for us, but for the people we haven’t met yet.”
“Because we expect great things from God, we attempt great things for God,” he continued, alluding to his sermon from last Sunday. “Might He bless what we are starting today. We are just beginning – we are attempting something grand for a great, great God.”
See the entire celebration HERE!
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
~ John 8:12
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:16