- Take exit 284A (I-264 West), Military Highway, Virginia Beach Blvd. and Kempsville Road
- Take the Indian River Road exit (286A) and use Military Highway, Virginia Beach Blvd. and Kempsville Road
- Use Kempsville Road (the other one) in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach to Princess Anne Road. This turns into Kempsville Road at the Norfolk/Virginia Beach line.
- The map below shows the options. The roadways highlighted in red will be closed.
During the Sept. 17 Campus Catalyst Meeting, the church discussed and voted to approve a three-year lease agreement for a property at 1516 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, as our second location. Launching this new location is a part of our Ten-Year Vision, and more specifically, our One-Year Goal:
First Norfolk Advance: Between January and December 2017, we will launch a new location in our multi-site strategy.
This building on Volvo Parkway began as a church plant more than 10 years ago, but the church plant went out of business and a finance group purchased the partially-finished facility. The building has never been used and is in great condition. This facility works well for our purposes as it already includes a worship center and has three stories (plenty of space for student, young adult, adult, children, and preschool ministries). There are some construction projects that the owners will finish, and this will leave us to furnish the space with things like lighting, sound, furniture, and technology.
There are 170 parking spots for the building, which could present a potential challenge for significant future growth. However, this many spots give us parking for approximately 400 people. If/when we have more than 400 people attending church, we would then move to two gatherings at that location.
Our lease ownership begins on Oct. 1 (we are leasing this building, not purchasing it). Pastor Eric said that we plan to use October to finish and furnish the facility, and then plan a “soft launch” of the campus in November as we get our leadership teams (staff and lay people) in place. We plan to host some events at the location to help acclimate those who attend the church and people in the community to this new campus. We are planning for a “hard launch” of the new campus in January 2018. Currently, we are calling this location “First Norfolk on Volvo Parkway.” Brent Wilson, Minister to Young Adults, will be the pastor at this location.
In other news, we have a new trial date with VDOT for May 7-11, 2018. In July, VDOT’s continuance request was granted. We are still hopeful for mediation in the near future.
CALL TO PRAYER
- Pray for God’s glory to shine through us to the seven cities.
- Pray that hundreds of people far from God would be saved during this journey.
- Pray for the Volvo location.
- Pray for VDOT negotiations.
At the beginning of August, VDOT installed a time-lapse construction camera to allow the public to view the progress on the I-64/I-264 interchange project. Our church is featured prominently in this time-lapse view. You can watch the time-lapse video on VDOT’s project website homepage here: http://www.i64i264improvements.org
We received a ruling from the judge concerning VDOT’s request for a continuance in their case with First Norfolk. The judge granted the continuance and the new date for the trial will be set in August. We are thankful for the consideration of the judge although it didn’t go the way we desired. We believe that this is part of God’s wondrous purposes as we continue to shine the light of the gospel throughout the seven cities of Hampton Roads and around the world.
On the evening of May 7, our church family gathered for a combined Campus Catalyst Town Hall Meeting and Church Conference. Geoff Hemphill, church treasurer, opened the meeting by giving a financial report. Our church “is in great shape” this year, and is even doing better than at this same time last year. Hemphill thanked church members for their generous giving to our missions and benevolence funds.
“Not only do you give to the budget, but you give above and beyond the budget,” he said.
During the Church Conference portion of the meeting, Pastor Eric Thomas held a vote to approve the four nominated messengers for the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, June 13-14, in Phoenix, Arizona. The vote passed, and the four messengers are Eric and Eydie Thomas and Phillip and Jan Herring.
After the Church Conference, Pastor Eric moved into the Campus Catalyst discussion. He iterated that although the construction on and around our campus has been difficult, it has also been a big blessing. The visibility of our church facility from the highway has never been better. In light of that, we have updated the sign on our building from First Baptist to firstnorfolk.org to point passersby to our website.
Another positive from the highway construction project is that we gathered together as one body at one time for Easter at the Ted, and it was “a tremendous blessing as a family of faith,” Pastor Eric said. This is something we would like to make a regular once-a-year event if possible, he continued.
Pastor Eric then reviewed our Ten-Year Vision to see 10 multi-site locations and 20 church plants in the next decade. He also reviewed our First Norfolk Advance One-Year Goal: Between January and December 2017, we will launch a campus in our multi-site strategy. We are making progress toward that goal, but have not yet finalized a location for our second campus location. As soon as it is possible, church leadership will announce the second campus location and bring it to a vote before the church.
The time period for our first 90-Day Objectives (Jan. 1-March 31) is over, but Pastor Eric introduced the next 90-Day Objectives (April 1-June 30) to our church:
- Select and train leader/core team: We will call the church to pray God’s will for them to join the leadership and core teams to be selected by June 1. (The leadership team will be First Norfolk staff and lay people who will be the “point people” for the new campus. The core team will be individuals who commit themselves to take the gospel to that neighborhood in Hampton Roads.)
- Establish footprint at New Campus: Leverage VBS, student/young adults ministries in neighborhood of new campus beginning at occupancy of new location.
- Implement Communication Plan: We will implement intentionally the compelling communication plan for the church and community to tell the story of First Norfolk’s advance.
- Develop multi-campus ministry model: Identify core values to guide multi-campus ministry to reach neighborhoods utilizing best practices with each context by June 30.
“God has used this church for 200 years in Hampton Roads for His glory, and He wants to use it for another 200 years,” Pastor Eric said. “But we have to join Him on that journey.”
The Campus Catalyst meeting ended with a corporate time of prayer. Pastor Eric again asked our church family to be praying over the Call to Prayer points he introduced in March.
“To be a part of this journey, you can pray faithfully for God to shine brightly through this church as we seek to glorify Him and advance His mission.”
The next Campus Catalyst meeting will be on May 28 at 5 pm, and will be a significant time of discussion and a potential vote about the second campus location.