High Street church breaks ground

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FRANKLIN—Five years of studying, planning and praying paid off Sunday when ground was broken for the new High Street United Methodist Church.

The new church will be built on 47 acres at 31094 Camp Parkway, about one mile outside Franklin across from Riverdale Elementary School.

Following the work of a taskforce that began in early 2006, the church voted to build and searched for a site within Franklin. There was no space large enough. So when the Camp Parkway site became available, the decision was made to build there.

The new church is being made possible by a major gift and a capital campaign among members led by Lynn and Susan Powell.

The building will feature a 350-seat sanctuary, a two-story education building, a fellowship hall with a kitchen and administration offices.

Construction of the new church is will begin by mid-July with an expected completion date of December 2011. Kenbridge Construction is the contractor.

The new building will be of Georgian and Jeffersonian in design. It will be constructed of brick topped by a slate roof and a steeple rising over 100 feet.

The groundbreaking featured the church choir leading the congregation in singing “The Church’s One Foundation.”

Church Historian Gaynelle Riddick touched about the church’s history. The cornerstone for the present sanctuary at First Avenue and High Street was laid in 1890.

“As those church founders stepped out in faith over 120 years ago, so we are stepping out today to build a structure that will serve today and for generations to come,” Riddick said.

Building Committee Chairwoman Ann Jervey recognized committee members John Bryant, Cara Cutler, Becky Gillette, Cary Kirkland, Margaret Lewis, Bob Luck, Westbrook Parker, the Powells, Lynne Rabil, Riddick, Nancy Turner and Kathy Worrell.

Luck, the project site chairman, introduced church representatives and others manning shovels to break ground. They included Bruce Wardell, architect; Emory Hodges and Brandon Spencer, Kenbridge Construction; the Rev. Susan Reaves; Mike Ponder, church lay leader; Gillette, council chairwoman; Jervey, building committee chair; Parker, head trustee; Mildred Doughty, oldest church member; Samuel Wesley Frackelton, youngest church member; Jake Pittman, MYF President; Josh Turner, Troop 17 Boy Scouts representative; and Erika Shaffer, representing the children of the church.

The children’s choirs led by Cara Butler sang “We Are the Church” after which the shoveling of dirt took place with all representatives turning shovels and receiving blessings and a benediction by Reaves, pastor of the church.

Following the service, members of the congregation placed their foundation stones in a bucket. These stones will be placed within the first yard of concrete poured for the foundation.

Prior to the ceremony, each family was asked to inscribe a rock to be presented to symbolize the building of the church “on solid rock.” All church members, including the children with their own sand shovels, were invited to shovel dirt and have their pictures taken to celebrate the day.