Living Oaks Campaign
Phase 2 Update - July 2021
Pastor Chris: "My Audacious Dream"
Partnering With Live Oaks
I know that envy is a sin, but I admit being a little jealous of our migrating snowbirds. When they return, we will be up and running with our Southern Oaks Campus and possibly already occupying our new Woodridge worship center. Even though the workers are diligently moving us toward completion at both campuses, I just want it to be all done. I can't tell you how much I look forward to the day that we can fully utilize both locations to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to the community.
Over this past weekend, I went into some detail about our progress toward that end. Check out the chart below. Just two years into our three-year "Living Oaks Campaign," 442 LOCC families have committed $5,302,226 toward our ultimate $7.5 million goal. And they've already given $4,264,515 toward that commitment.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that a year ago, despite an unfolding global pandemic, 98% of our membership voted to proceed with building and borrowing in order to break ground on our Woodridge expansion, which happened just eight days later. The timeline at the bottom of the chart highlights some landmark dates during our Living Oaks Capital Campaign. Certainly, our church family has a proven history of faith and generosity.
But here's my audacious dream:
What if every one of the 970+ families who call Live Oaks Community Church their church home for at least part of the year would partner with us financially in this ministry expansion effort?
So pray about it. We only have about $2.2 million to go. When we achieve our goal we will have a completed Woodridge Campus and the funds necessary to purchase a permanent site for our Southern Oaks Campus. What would God have YOU do to make room for those we haven't met yet? Checks can be made to the church with a notation that the gift is for the Living Oaks Campaign. Commitment cards are available, as well as campaign booklets that tell of our history and future. Pick one up from the counter at the back of the Worship Center, or come into the church office.
~ Pastor Chris
Crowd Gathers For Memorable Event
Scripture On The Walls
Joyful voices echoed throughout the construction site of our Woodridge Campus ministry expansion project this past Sunday as a crowd of scribes armed with markers and chalk dispersed to every nook and cranny to record Scripture on the walls. "Hundreds came out to surround our new ministry center with the Word of God," observed Pastor Chris Holck.
Many among the throng remember that the church family gathered for the same purpose four years ago when our existing Woodridge facility was nearing completion. LOCC Secretary Pat Brimer was there. "It just made you feel so much more a part of the church," she recalls. "And it was amazing how we ended up getting the property here – God has blessed our church so richly."
"Ultimately our 'handwriting on the wall' will be covered up," Pastor Chris acknowledged, "but we'll always know what we wrote and where."
LOCC's new Woodridge Campus ministry center is expected to open on Christmas Eve 2021.
Southern Oaks Update We Are Moving
Exciting News Is Here!
New Worship Center Tour With Pastor Chris
Bibles in Worship Center and Lighthouse
LED Wall in Worship Center
Water Feature and Bapistry
Worship Center Construction Videos
Live Oaks Church The Lighthouse Has A Roof!
“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
special video Woodridge Groundbreaking
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
Live Oaks Church Video Live Go Pro Video of our construction site
Live Oaks Church Easter Video "Happy Day"
special video Our Past and Future
Live Oaks Church Easter Video "Happy Day"
Live Oaks Church Church Building Project
Remember 2017 Easter Service at the Polo Grounds
Locc Cardboard Testimonies tell it all
LOCC More cardboard testimonies
From Pastor Chris Campaign Update 03-15-20 - ONLY $302,000 AWAY FROM PUTTING A SPADE IN THE GROUND
The Elders of Live Oaks Community Church have prayerfully considered our next steps for the expansion of our ministry at LOCC’s Woodridge Campus. The link below takes you to the Living Oaks Campaign update Pastor Chris shared this past weekend. It’s only a few minutes long, but it talks about how we have finally received a Guaranteed Maximum Price for our building from our contractor and a loan commitment from a bank. When those numbers are factored into the generosity that has already poured out from our LOCC family, we find we are only $302,000 away from being able to begin our project.
We have come so far and now are so close.
Now it’s up to the membership of Live Oaks Community Church to vote on whether or not to proceed with borrowing and building at this time. The vote will take place at our Annual Congregational Meeting, scheduled for April 26. Therefore, we have until that date to accumulate $302,000 in cash for our ministry expansion. Gifts toward that sum can take the form of:
- the fulfillment of a commitment already made;
- a new commitment or cash gift; or
- an additional gift from those who’ve already fulfilled their commitments, but who find they are joyfully able and willing to do more.
Don’t confuse this $302,000 goal with our overall Living Oaks Campaign Goal. Achieving this goal allows us to start construction with the bank’s permission. We will continue to raise funds toward our $7.5 million goal that will allow us to both build this Woodridge expansion as well as purchase land for our Southern Oaks Campus. By raising this $302,000 now, we will cross over the $5 million dollar mark in commitments – so that means we are 2/3 of the way toward our goal. Thanks, Live Oaks Community Church, for your generosity.
Please pray about what God would have you do to help us raise this final amount toward making our ministry expansion dreams come true!
Pastor Chris Holck
From Pastor Chris Living Oaks Campaign Thanksgiving message
Gather To GO!
Celebration Event Attended by Over 600 at Live Oaks
The evening was then turned over to Pastor Chris Holck who revealed plans and drawings for the next and final phase on the Woodridge campus which is a 750 seat sanctuary plus meeting rooms, offices and a large fellowship area. The picture at the top of this email is an artist’s representation of the new addition attached to our existing building plus the lighthouse! Pastor Chris shared a story about the inspiration for the lighthouse with the illuminated crosses on each side. It is our desire to communicate with this tower of hope that all can come to the cross for help.
The crowd was treated to a virtual tour of the new building which is available to you on the link below. You will also find the floor plan and site plan to help you understand more of the details of our plans.
The full video of the Friday Celebration is available for your viewing. Chris Atkins’ concert is at the beginning and Pastor Holck’s address begins at the 49:30 mark.
The celebration event marked the beginning of the Living Oaks Campaign, a three year initiative to raise $7.5 million dollars to build the new sanctuary and purchase a second campus in the southern part of The Villages. No offering was taken, but rather, all who attended and those reading this email are asked to pray about what they would like to give over the next three years to help this vision become a reality. On April 7, we will gather once again as one large group at The Grove on Sunday morning and on that day, we will announce the total commitments of the people of Live Oaks.
The theme for the Living Oaks Campaign is “Gather to Go.” We need a place to gather; a larger place as we are already running out of space just one and a half years after moving into our Woodridge campus. Our Sunday morning services are quite full so would you consider attending our Saturday or Sunday afternoon services? Or would you consider moving to the front row of chairs? We want to make more room for the visitors who join us every week. We have had over 100 first time visiting families in the first three weeks of this new year. Something else you could do is park in our east parking lot since visitors are not likely to even know it exists. We Gather to Go expresses our desire to move people into ministry outside the walls of our gathering place. We believe that a successful capital campaign will advance the mission of our church and grow the Kingdom of God.
Be watching in this Saturday’s Daily Sun for an article about our event and our plans for expansion.
Update on the southern parcel of land
The end of the due diligence period arrived and the lawsuit on the adjoining property had not yet been resolved. As a reminder, the lawsuit neither involves the sellers nor us, but it prohibits the completion of the sale. While this was disappointing news, we are pleased to report that the sellers agreed to a 90-day extension to the due diligence period which extends our offer until mid-April. If the lawsuit is not resolved by mid-April, our plan is to ask for an additional extension of time.
We also met with leaders from The Villages who continue to be very supportive of our efforts to purchase this property. They re-confirmed their ongoing commitments to LOCC related to the property and to the proposed extension of Buena Vista Blvd.
In the event we are not able to purchase this property, The Villages also re-confirmed their willingness to work with us in finding alternative building sites for our southern growth.
We are excited by our continued growth and our vision to reach our growing mission field; older adults in, around and beyond The Villages. Please continue to pray. We want what God wants and we trust His timing to be perfect.
For Chris Atkins’ concert, view from beginning.
(For Pastor Chris’ Presentation, jump to 49:30 min/sec.)
If you were unable to attend our Celebration Event but will be in church this weekend, CD’s will be available for sale for $15 in the Commons both on Saturday and Sunday.
Alternatively, you can purchase them online at
chrisatkins.net/music or by purchase order form below.