King Solomon finishes phase two of expansion

Published 7:52 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

King Solomon Baptist Church, located on Oak Ridge Road, recently finished construction on phase two of its building. The first phase, which includes the current sanctuary and office space, was completed three years ago.

The second phase includes a new atrium for group gatherings and meals, classrooms and new entrances to the sanctuary.

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The added space has helped the church better serve its members by providing the necessary space for separate youth and adult education classes.

“Before, we didn’t have the type of space to have multiple programs at one time,” R.D. Bernard, the church’s pastor, said. “We have now more space devoted to youth education. There is a program for the adults and a program for the youth and now we have our two separate spaces.”

The atrium has also provided the church with a set area to hold meals after their Sunday services and large gatherings including plays, Super Bowl parties and more.

“We eat in here,” Thomas Sandles, the chairman of the deacons, said. “When we just had phase one, we used to take down the sanctuary to eat in there.

“It keeps us here all the time and the main thing for King Solomon is life together. We do a lot of things together and this keeps us together a lot.”

The walls in the new atrium are painted bright colors to cater to the youth who will be using the space the most. There are plans to turn one of the classrooms into a lounge area for teenagers with videogames.

“The larger kids are able to invite their friends over for things,” Sandels said. “There are things in the works now that will keep a lot of people over here, a lot of teaching and activities in the atrium that will have our kids inviting over other teenage kids.”

The church also made cosmetic updates to the exterior of the building including a new awning and additional entrances to make access to the sanctuary more convenient. 

“We used to have to park and walk all the way around,” Sandels said. “Now, the idea is that if you are older you park under the shelter, let them out and come around.”

The church is also planning a third phase for the building, which they hope to have completed in the next five years.

The current sanctuary will eventually become the recreation hall once phase three is built. The third phase will have an additional 17,000 square feet of space including a sanctuary twice the size of the current one, more classrooms and the pastor’s office. The next major project will be paving the parking lot though.

“When this finishes and you get to that light, this whole area is going to King Solomon’s,” Sandels said.