The process of expanding Hopwood Christian Church began May 9, and it is expected to be completed by early December.
Hopwood, to the right of the bridge when entering Milligan’s campus, seeks to continue their age-old legacy of sacrifice for future generations as construction progresses. The church still stands today thanks to a group of women called The King’s Daughters who renovated the church on their own back during the Great Depression.
Milligan has had a cooperative relationship with Hopwood for generations, sharing buildings and parking to meet each other’s needs. Until renovations are complete, the congregation of Hopwood is continuing worship services at Emmanuel Christian Seminary Chapel.
“Milligan has been wonderful to us,” Ross said. “It has made the transition very easy for us.”
The renovations should make the church more accessible to elderly attendees and those with disabilities as well as provide more space for a growing congregation. A bathroom is also being added to the sanctuary level.
Some of Hopwood’s improvements will also serve Milligan students and staff. A path will be constructed from the church parking area to Derthick Hall, and some handicap parking spaces will be added.
Students are still currently barred from parking at the athletic fields below the church. For Ross, it is about balance between accessibility for student athletes and safety concerns, specifically for the children of the congregation. There are plans in place to add more signs and speed bumps to slow cars down as they drive to the athletic fields.
Years of water and termite damage have caused some of the internal structure to break down. Construction workers have replaced wooden beams with steel beams to prevent this problem in the future. This was a large, unexpected cost in the budget, but Ross was not surprised, as the timber was estimated to be about 150 years old.
A custom chapel steeple is being created off-site and will be raised during a ceremony on Sept. 12. Everyone is invited to the steeple-raising ceremony. Prayers will be offered at 8:30 a.m. and the steeple raising will follow. There will be a luncheon at noon for the workers and anyone else who wants to attend.