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Mathis Report
Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 8, 202105:00 AM EST

City permits First Baptist auditorium renovation at $1.78 million

The church is basing its ministry at the Downtown property.

The city issued a permit Feb. 5 for Williams & Rowe Co. Inc. to renovate the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Lindsay Memorial Auditorium Downtown at a cost of $1.78 million.

Plans say the scope of work at the 125 W. Ashley St. auditorium includes the interior back-of house remodel, auditorium carpet, painting, lower floor pews, new toilet rooms and a new choir loft area.

The work includes the reconfiguration of the platform, replacing pews, finishes and modifications to the sound booth area and the overhead main sanctuary canopy. The project includes a new choir loft, LCD screens an AV upgrades.

Pew seating at the main level of the sanctuary will be installed to replace the theater seats. Plans show the existing occupancy load of 1,089 will drop to 915.

In August, First Baptist said it would not pursue its plan to sell a majority of its Downtown campus and consolidate it and instead fix water infiltration, HVAC and other infrastructure problems in the Lindsay Memorial Auditorium.

First Baptist Senior Pastor Heath Lambert announced the church leadership’s decision Aug. 2 in a town hall meeting with the congregation.

Instead, First Baptist will base its ministry and operations in the Lindsay Memorial Auditorium. Lambert said a small group of members has pledged “millions of dollars” to fix water infiltration, HVAC and other infrastructure problems in the auditorium. 

First Baptist has been raising money from members for the “Lindsay Memorial Auditorium Renovation Project.”

Staff writer Mike Mendenhall contributed to this report.


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