Williams Center Blog

Rebuilding in Earnest

It’s been a long time since we last updated the news from the Williams Center, but please know there has still been a lot going on. Nothing has slowed down the progress (except the 8 degree morning a few weeks back!) and many things are happening that soon will be covered by the walls and ceilings. But the process is right on track and here are some highlights:

  • The interior steel stud framing is 90% complete and it’s easy to walk through the building now and see the rooms and just how BIG they are! The contractor is waiting from approval on a few items from the City Inspections department before they can finish this task 100%.
  • The duct work is being installed that will carry the conditioned air into and from the classrooms, halls and other rooms. It’s a maze of silver of all sizes and shapes, so I am glad someone knows how all that fits up in the ceiling!
  • The air handlers both inside and on the roof have been installed and are being connected to the electrical circuits so that they can provide heat during the interior completion of the project.
  • The plumbers continue their work in earnest as well. New piping is being installed and connected for the water supply and drainage systems. The expanded restrooms are taking shape and so are the areas where there will be sinks and other water connections.
  • The electrical rough-in work is almost 100% complete and the new electrical service has been installed too. Duke Energy will install the new high voltage feeder on Saturday the 25th and then we will be able to have temporary heat and light in the building.
  • Brick installation work will start around February 1st as we have been waiting on a special shaped brick to be manufactured by Taylor Clay Products located in Salisbury.
  • The elevator shaft construction is well underway inside the building too, and the walls are strong and ready to mount the rails that the elevator cab rides on.
  • The old roof has been fully removed and the new roof and parapet are installed. The roof carries a 25 year warranty and is white to reflect heat, helping to lower the air conditioning load on the building.
  • The windows and glass are being installed and they look great! Another big change in the looks of the building no two ways about it. When the contrasting brick is installed, they will really stand out and complete the exterior of the building.
  • Believe it or not, we are already looking at landscaping, playground equipment, furnishings and a host of other items that will be required to complete the entire scope of the project! Summer will be here before you know it and we have to be prepared for moving back into this wonderful facility right on time.
  • Our general contractor has been great to work with and we are blessed to have Bill, Burl and the entire Edifice team behind the many tasks that are part of the rebuilding process.

One last note…put Sunday, February 16th on your calendar as well! We are going to hold an Open House in the building immediately after Worship to give you a firsthand look at the construction process. No hard hats required and the site will be safe, heated and ready for your inspection. We are confident you will be quite impressed and pleased with what you will see.

That’s it for this missive! Many thanks to you for your prayers, your support and the love that keeps us and the project moving forward so well. We know that God is in the project every day and His will is being brought to fruition week after week. These are indeed exciting times!

Keith and the entire Building Commitee

From the Old... A New Building Arises

The work on the Williams Center continues at a dizzying pace. As I have said here before, something happens to the building every working day and this past week has been no exception. Edifice and their team of subcontractors are coordinated, focused and quickly moving forward with the rebuilding of this fine old building and I can tell you this; it looks great!  Here are some of the highlights:

  • All demolition is 100% complete and the rebuilding has begun in earnest! It’s amazing to walk through each floor today and be able to see from one end to the other!
  • But soon, there will be new walls…in fact, there are already new walls in place on the second and third floor and all of a sudden, the new rooms take on new dimensions as they become real and tangible.
  • Some of the duct work has been fabricated and is onsite ready for installation. All the air handlers have been ordered and will be installed soon too.
  • Electrical work is moving quickly with some of the receptacles and light switch rough-in wiring already installed and ready for inspection. Their conduit and fittings for the power feeders to each floor are onsite and awaiting installation too.
  • The first floor has been cut to provide chases for the new drain piping and next week the plumber will start digging the trenches to connect all this piping to the main sewer drain line.
  • Exterior door frames are starting to be set in place as well as the window frames on the exterior wall adjacent to the Pritchard Building. There are very important pieces of hardware as they and the soon to be installed glass will provide a one hour fire barrier between the two buildings.
  • The new footings and foundation along the south side have been installed and now you can see the final “footprint” of the building. There will be a new exterior wall built on this foundation soon and the “new” floor area filled and poured with concrete.
  • The interiors committee are wrapping up their work too so you be thinking bright and bold!
  • There are pictures on the website too, so please look at them too for a good look at the progress made thus far!

Thank you for your prayers and support as always! We love the challenge before us, but know your love and God’s hand upon the task makes the job easy…well…easier anyway! We are grateful for this church family who are truly behind His plan that will allow us to love and serve the communities around us.


The Building Committee


The Williams Center - A Mere Shell of Its Former Self

It’s a wet Saturday afternoon as I write this and the gray skies and cool temperatures are a perfect excuse to stay inside and share the latest updates on the Williams Center with our church family.  Needless to say, there has been a lot going on here at 1117 South Boulevard these past few weeks.

The demolition is almost complete and boy did that work ever open up some vistas that have not been seen for 50+ years! The interior walls are gone, the selected exterior wall panels have toppled to the ground and been hauled away to their demise, even the three story chimney is gone! There are gaping holes in the floor where ducts and pipes used to run, so you have to watch your step when in the building now.

The exterior framing has started and we can now begin to see how large the windows are and how the brick will accent them with a darker hue than the remaining old bricks. If you will look beside the construction trailer located in the upper parking lot, you can see a small mock-up of the new wall panels with the contrasting brick, a specially shaped brick that delineates old panels vs. new and even a sample window. The Building Committee has reviewed and approved this design, so look for those changes soon.

Edifice is working hard to be able to “dry-in” the building as soon as possible. This means that the windows are installed, the exterior sheathing is in place, the temporary doors are in place and the roof has been replaced. Once this is done, those cold winter days won’t delay interior construction and the exterior can continue on the good days when they come. The secret to a successful project is to have something happen every working day and this plan allows that.

The electrical service to the building has been disconnected (at 4:00 AM on Thursday the 17th!) and the temporary power has been connected. Duke is evaluating the current electrical service and we are hoping and praying that the existing transformer will be adequate for the new loads being placed on it. I shudder to think of the logistics and costs required to change to a new pad mounted external transformer, so join us in that prayer please!

The floor has been cut where the elevator pit will be installed. We all have been asked if we are moving the old elevator to the building and let me emphatically tell you…NO!  The new elevator will be roomy, clean and fast! No more waiting or hoping that you don’t get stuck in between floors. Not to mention now everyone can access all three floor of the Williams Center easily! Won’t that be a great and wonderful day???


Construction costs to date are in line with expectations, so no great surprises there. We meet weekly with the architect and contractor to review not only costs, but construction progress, product submittals and subcontractor proposals. We walk through the site and note design issues and suggested changes and improvements and all of us are very, very pleased with the scope and quality of work performed to date. The subs on site have been great to work with and understand they are working on a special place so they take great care in their work. Bill Bailey and Burl Johnson with Edifice have been a delight to work with and they are on top of every detail. We have indeed been blessed to have these two men in charge of our project and we thank God for them and the entire Edifice team that supports them behind the scenes.

Our Interiors subcommittee has been meeting often with the architect and has come up with some wonderful color schemes, updated materials and new fabrics that will ensure anyone that we are not in an old facility any longer! I won’t give away their secrets, just know the look will be bold, bright and perfect for the Williams Center and the ministry we are called to perform there.

Please keep the Building Committee in your prayers, the entire Adams Group team and our friends at Edifice too. It’s a team effort and we need the Lords guidance and your love, support and prayers so that we are fully aligned with God’s design and will for this wonderful old building. We can’t wait to show you the Williams Center in all of its new glory in a few short months. In the meantime keep watching the work progress safely outside the fences and thank God for His provision!

Blessings and joy,

The Building Committee

God's Remodeling Project

As we undertake the reconstruction of the Williams Building, I often look for lessons the old girl can teach us. And being the voracious reader that I am, often a phrase or paragraph from a recent book will come to mind that links two similar ideas together. Such has been the case lately. Let me explain…

With every visit to the site in my safety gear and camera in hand, I am amazed at the amount of work that has been accomplished in such a short time. The demo team is almost finished and the asbestos is long gone. Exterior wall framing begins soon and we will be able to see the first indication of real change, where the windows will fit and how big they will be. Add the sample brick wall panel into the mix and all of sudden things are new and life is being breathed back into the structure. Once the HVAC ductwork is installed, then interior framing begins and the plumbers and electricians take over. Then its drywall, ceilings, paint and floor coverings and before you know it, the Williams Center is alive and humming with people and the many activities we are called to undertake here in this small corner of Dilworth. In no small way, the Williams Center is God’s remodeling project of the South End.

Recently I was reading one of Max Lucado’s books and he used that exact phrase, God’s remodeling project to talk about building the lives and heart of those who are his children. And a light bulb went off to remind me that there are tremendous parallels between the remodeling of my life and heart that is only a few years older than the Williams Building itself and our work to create the Williams Center.  For our age we are in pretty good health, we seem to have good bones for the most part, have been well cared for and have survived a storm or two along the way. Hopefully I have been as welcoming and as strong as the bricks and mortar of the building, but I know there have been times when a weakness has been made all too apparent. That’s life and I am sure there have been some weaknesses corrected over the years in the building too. Nothing physical is ever perfect!

But even in the building’s physical strength, God is leading us to open the walls and windows much wider to let in more light, add more doors to welcome more people in, asking us to tear down walls that kept love inside and people out and asking us to beckon to a lost world that we have a great story to tell and share. Bobby’s sermon of this past week was spot on that we are not to judge based on any external factor and that all should be welcome here, even those that think and act much differently that we do. If Jesus was here, isn’t that what he would do? Of course! He remodels sinners and we need that just as much as the world does.

So will we let our lives be continuously remodeled too? Can we get past the sands of tradition and build constantly growing lives on the foundation of Jesus’ truth and message of mercy, grace and forgiveness? Are we open to being changed by the Master Carpenter who knows us better than we know ourselves? I for one answer an emphatic yes to that question, and I hope you and the entire church will become a part of the journey of renewal and remodeling to serve a Living and Risen Savior! If He can make an old building new, how much more so can he make us more like Him?

Blessings!  KED


Dotting the "i's" and Crossing the "t's"

Another important milestone in the life of the Williams Center has been achieved…we are now closed on our construction/permanent financing through First Citizens Bank. As of this 11:00 morning, September 23, 2013, all the documents have been signed, recorded at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds and all the copies distributed accordingly.  Now we can breathe a great sigh of relief and move forward with the construction process know that we can pay our contractor on time and within the terms of our contract with them.

Any of you who have bought a home before can identify with the many hurdles that have to be jumped in order to get to the closing table, and our process was no different, just more strenuous due to the size of the loan. We began the document delivery process about three months ago and went through several long and detailed lists to get everything required to the bank. Even as late as last week, we were still dotting all the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” both the bank and attorneys required so that everyone’s interests were represented and protected. It was quite the education that’s for sure.  

But it’s done and Now Is The Time… to build…the new Williams Center where we will serve, love and meet the needs of our family of faith and the communities around us! The many challenges were many no doubt, but God has and will continue to bless the work before us. His hands are upon us, leading and guiding the way.

Please keep our committee and the work in your prayers. We need them more than you know.



And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Unless you have not on the PMBC campus lately, you know well that work has begun on the Williams Center upgrades and rebuilding. It took more than a few days to get us to this point, but we are here now and everything is set for the process to be as smooth and well thought out as possible.

The full committee approved the complete asbestos abatement process throughout the entire building and here at the middle part of September, that scope of work is almost complete. Yes it was expensive, but we believe it was money well spent to ensure the long-term health of everyone who will be using the facility now and long into the future.

With the installation of the construction fencing, more than a few parking places were lost as well as our handicap ramp up to the sidewalk. The ramp was rebuilt and is much wider and nicer than the old ramp so all of our members can access the rear sidewalk areas and buildings with no barriers to wheelchairs or those who have difficulty in stepping up and down off the sidewalk.

Interior demolition has begun in earnest too and there are pictures of that activity posted on these pages for you to see. The first floor looks absolutely huge with most of the walls gone. Some likened it to what it looked like when the chapel was there and wax nostalgic about those good old days! Our group and the architect look at it and see the future with smooth walls, bright lighting, curious children, brighter colors and an environment made for learning and sharing Jesus with the little ones. It’s quite exciting and wonderful that the walls indeed are tumbling down.

There is more to tell but will save it for another update. Thanks for being a part of the wonderful PMBC family of faith and supporting this project so faithfully.


We are Under Contract!

On Monday evening the 26th, Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church took a giant leap forward towards the renovation of the Williams Center! Sarah Ferguson as our senior Trustee and Bryan Knupp with Edifice sat at the conference room table and executed the final contract for the scope of work and cost we have been negotiating over for several months. There were lots of smiles and a sense of exhilaration as we are now 100% committed to the tasks before us and partnered with the general contractor we believe is the very best available to assist us with the construction. It was one of those red-letter events no two ways about it.

Sarah Ferguson, trustee, signs the Williams Center contract.

Sarah Ferguson, trustee, signs the Williams Center contract.

Now that we are underway, please remember your commitment to the NITT campaign and do your best to meet or accelerate your giving. These are critical months ahead financially and your support is critical to meeting our commitments to both Edifice and First Citizens. We know that God has His hand upon the building effort and upon our hearts as well in order to fund the renovation efforts.

Blessings to all of you…thank you for the continued prayers and words of encouragement! We cannot do this job without them!

A Day of Blessings

Sunday morning, August 25, 2013 dawned bright and clear and cool… a day tailor-made for a building dedication outdoors. The Lord himself blessed the day so that we his children could extend our blessings and prayers onto the Williams Center in preparation for the actual start of construction. And what a beautiful day it was too!

It was a glorious time, with 250+ people gathered hand to hand wrapped around the exterior of the old girl, heads bowed, prayers lifted in joy from this community of faith. The sun shone, a light breeze blew and it could not have been any more perfect than it was! Spoken and silent prayers offered to the Lord in joy and wonderment focused towards the many tasks yet to come. I hope you were able to be a part of the celebration! Words here cannot do it justice!

Then to go in and write on the walls! Don’t do this at home I heard several parents say, but for once it was not only OK, but expected! And encouraged! The messages were many, some short, others took large sections of wall space, but they all were delivered in sincerity wishing safety and love to the workers who soon will take over the building. The messages were clear…we are a family of faith that loves the Lord and serve Him with gladness at 1117 South Boulevard. We are salt and light, flavoring and illuminating the life of those who will prepare the Williams Center for its new life and ministry!

I would be remiss if I did not offer a special Thank You to the NITT promotions team who took the lead in making the day a reality! Each of you went above and beyond to make the preparations that made the day unique and very, very special! Thank you all very much for your ideas and making them happen!

A blessed building, a time of celebration, a family bound in prayer and love…who could ask for anything more? It was a wonderful day in the Lord! Thank you for being a part of the celebration!

To view more pictures from this event, please visit the Photo Gallery


Last Minute Building Preparations

A short update on many different preparations being made prior to the actual start of demolition and construction:

  • The movers have come and emptied the building for the most part with some of the items going into storage for future use and others being donated to other Christian ministries. The building seems bigger to me now…
  • Doug Evans and Design Conditions have turned off all the HVAC equipment, drained the boilers and chillers in preparation for the removal of the old (ancient actually!) equipment. A recently installed air handler and condenser that served the first floor have been removed and placed into storage for future use. THANKS Doug!
  • A video inspection has been made of the main sanitary sewer drain from the building into the City’s sewer system and the pipe is remarkably clean for being 50 years old. This was excellent news meaning no additional exterior plumbing work is required beyond the interior confines of the building itself.
  • The five memorial post lights alongside the parking lot have been carefully removed and placed into storage for use again when the building is completed in 2014. These will be cleaned and repainted as necessary in the coming months as well as new globes installed on the fixtures that have been damaged.
  • The building permit process has hit several small hiccups from the mechanical review and fire code, but nothing that is insurmountable or too expensive to correct.  The Adams Group and Edifice are working on revised specifications to meet the requested upgrades to be fully Code compliant. We still expect permitting to be
  • A final addendum to all bidding subcontractors went out on Friday July 5th with a bid due deadline to Edifice at the close of business Thursday July 11th.
  • The appraisers have visited the site and are working on preparing their valuation for the bank. They were given all the recent surveys, floor plans and any other documents needed to assess the value of not only the Williams Center revisions, but of the entire campus property.

Looking ahead, the next three weeks will be intense and critical to the project as we finalize a contract amount and agree on a scope of work. Please be much in prayer for the committee and our church leadership during this important period of time. We will keep you all informed as things move forward!



Building on the Shoulders of Giants

A few weeks back within Sunday Worship, we watched a short video titled Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.  It shared quotes and themes from many of the men and women who made the original building of this church campus possible. We are grateful to them for their vision.

Likewise I want to thank our own present day giants who made this project possible…and by no means is this everyone, just the ones I have had the privilege to work closely with. Here are my ideas…

  • Larry Kiser, Long Range Planning Chair 2008 - It was a series of meetings the LRPC held in the Williams Building and the Lake Lodge during the year that really gave birth to the idea of a Master Plan for our campus. A vision was born…
  • Don Taft, EPIC Chair 2008-2012 - Don and the EPiC team planted a small kernel of vision seed and from it grew a wonderful Master Plan that made the vision visible and almost real…
  • Jeff Rogers, LRPC Chair 2012 - Jeff and the LRPC took up the vision and made the decision to make Phase One of the Master Plan very real. From that idea, they crafted the beginning Unending Possibilities (UP) campaign to jump-start the fund raising process…
  • Ken Edhal, Now Is The Time Chair 2012 - Ken and his group took UP upwards and created the NITT campaign that will provide 40% of the funding required to create the Williams Center! A wonderful start…
  • Bobby Morrow - Our senior pastor who leads by inspiration plus example and has a wonderful passion for the Lord and His church! Thank you Bobby for all you are and do! We would not be here today if not for your vision and strategic plan born of your prayers and passion!

When you see one of these giants in the next few weeks, shake their hand and tell them Thank You for being men of vision and Godly spirit! We owe them much!


The Williams Center - Now Is The Time... To Build

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We achieved a historic milestone last Sunday with our commitment to rebuild the cold war era Williams Building into the new and updated modern Williams Center. This is certainly not the first milestone in the life of this wonderful old structure, but the latest one that brings new life and new possibilities to us while remaining true to our true purpose; sharing that old, old story of Jesus to the community around us.

Some may mourn the change in the image and purpose of this grand old building, a mainstay here since 1960. They remember its heyday, the halls bustling with youth, the Sunday School classrooms filled. This is its past glory, and we should never forget those former days.

Others may see the building as it is today. A bit worn - but comfortable as an old shoe, the halls wide and welcoming and the classes warm and inviting. But that comfort comes with a penalty: maintenance, heating and cooling costs and a building that sits empty for the majority of the week.  This is its current glory…and likewise we will remember these days as all too soon as they become the past.

The Special Purpose Williams Building Renovation Committee (That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?) sees the building not for what it might be, or could be, but for what it will be. The members are confident that God has His hand firmly in the task. With His guidance, we can renew this building physically (that’s the easy part) and spiritually (the much more difficult task!). We will strengthen its walls with steel, brick, glass and concrete. But at the same time, we as a church family will be requested by God to strengthen our commitment to fill this building with His children -- people of all tongues and types, all with needs and hurts, all needing Jesus. This is its future glory.

Thank you for making this challenge possible. Your gifts, pledges and faith in the future of Pritchard speak volumes about your commitment to the Lord’s work in Dilworth and the South End. We applaud you for believing there is indeed a grand future for the Williams Center and the people who will be changed, loved and strengthened there.

We as a committee do not work in a vacuum and realize we are a microcosm of the church faith family at large. We work on your behalf and covet your prayers and words of encouragement as we undertake this task. Come love on us and hug us as we lead the way towards God’s future glory.

We work on your behalf, too. We will not be always perfect in our decisions, and our choices may not please everyone. Please see our work through the lens of forgiveness and mercy when necessary.

We want this construction time to be a ministry to those who will perform the day-to-day work and we ask for you to pray for these men and women each day. We are dedicated in our vision to be Jesus to those who need Him most in their lives and may not even know it yet!

Finally…about this blog: Check in often as there will be new content weekly. We have created this site to show you and the community with photos, text, videos other bits of information, how a worn old shoe can become something a bit more stylish, a lot more up-to-date ... yet still true its original purpose and remain just as comfortable as it is today.

After all, you need good shoes on a journey; and we have embarked on one like few others…a journey of faithful servanthood! It promises to be quite the journey of sweat, persistence and faith no doubt about it. Come join us along this road…for that’s where Jesus is!


Bobby, David, Hope, Jeff, Keith, Meg, Ron, Stan, Sue and Tate

The SPWBR Committee