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The 921 Fund

A New Century of Witness, Nurture and Service

The 921 Fund is a capital campaign that was launched in 2005 to pay for the cost of renovation of the Church House located at 921 Madison Avenue. The Church House, built in 1917 as the center of the congregation’s outreach and educational ministry, was in desperate need of renovation. Its infrastructure, designed for the needs of the 1920s, especially its electrical, heating and plumbing systems, was woefully inadequate for the demands on the building in the 21st century. The original wooden windows not only leaked but also were coated with lead paint. The sub-basement regularly flooded. Several of its soil pipes leading to the city sewer had or were on the verge of collapsing. The building’s steam heating system was controlled by one thermostat. To heat one room, the entire building had to be heated. The entire infrastructure needed to be replaced.

Much of the facility also needed reconfiguration to better serve the congregation’s modern outreach programs. An obsolete swimming pool was removed, its lower level transformed into the site of a new circulating hot water heating system, a workshop, and a much needed contained trash storage area. The pool’s deck was covered to create a new room that is now used for one of two overnight shelters. The original game room area adjacent to the pool now serves as a drug rehabilitation center by day and an emergency shelter by night. Two very well worn 10th floor staff apartments were gutted and the space redesigned to create three modern living spaces—a three bedroom apartment for our Director and Associate Director of Music and their family, a two bedroom apartment for our Director of Christian Education and Discipleship, and a one bedroom apartment for our Global Ministry Fellow. The 9th floor of the church’s Nursery School was completely gutted and rebuilt, replacing steam heating with circulating hot water heat and central air, allowing each room to have an individual thermostat control. In addition, sprinklers were installed as part of a state of the art fire suppression system. The second floor gymnasium was refurbished with a new floor, lights, and air conditioning, making it usable twelve months out of the year.

To pay for the construction MAPC initiated a capital campaign—The 921 Fund: A New Century of Witness, Nurture and Service. As has been the custom during other capital campaigns, 10% of construction costs were designated to fund two projects supporting the work of Christ beyond our walls. The 921 Fund allocated those dollars to the Global Ministry Fellowship with Theological Education by Extension Zambia (TEEZ), in Kitwe, Zambia, and to a partnership with First Spanish Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn to enable them to call a pastor full-time.

Total construction costs for this work was almost $18 million. The addition of the 10% for the new outreach initiatives, plus campaign costs, put the target at $20 million. Regrettably, the work could not be delayed until money was raised. The project had to begin immediately. Loans were secured and construction began phased over two summers so that programs and ministries that use the building September through May would experience the least possible disruption.

The campaign was closed to all but new membership in the spring of 2009, having raised $8.17 million dollars for capital expenditures, as well as $1.25 million to endow the Global Ministry Fellowship. The balance of the construction costs were paid out of a construction loan of $10 million. The Session, at the recommendation of Trustees, designated $5 million from the endowment to help pay down the loan. The remaining balance is to be paid by non-members from the Madison Avenue Presbytery Church Day School to cover its $2.05 million portion of construction costs.

The 921 Follow-Up Campaign continues to call on members who, because of financial constraints resulting from to the instability of the markets in 2008-2009, were unable to contribute, but indicated a willingness to do so once the market improved, as well as members who have joined the congregation since the campaign was closed. In addition, through the generosity of one member, there remains a dollar for dollar match for gifts over $10,000, with a payout from one to five years, depending upon the size of the gift. The goal for the 921 Follow-Up Campaign is $1,000,000. To date, $591,000 has been raised.

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© 2015