First Baptist Church Chapel Renovation Receives Project of the Year Award at ABC’s 20th Annual Excellence in Construction Awards

We are honored to receive the “Project of the Year” award as well as an Excellence in Construction Award at the Associated Builders and Contractors of North Alabama 20th annual Excellence in Construction Awards. The renovation of the historic First Baptist Church of Decatur Chapel built in 1908, consisted of the seamless restoration of over 6,000 sf to reflect the original, Gothic revival design, despite previous remodels, while incorporating today’s cutting-edge technology.

We would like to congratulate our team members who brought this project to life!

Project Manager – Harry James

Superintendent – Brandon Watson

Carpenter – David May

The First Baptist Church Chapel of Decatur was originally constructed in 1908, using 17’ solid brick exterior walls, timberwork framing for the attic and a spectacular self-supporting octagonal rib-vaulted ceiling. Built at the height of the Akron Plan movement, the chapel featured Art-Nouveau-stained glass, and a counterweighted wall capable of being retracted into the ceiling to open or close the main sanctuary from an overflow/Sunday School space. The floor of the building was built on a radial slope, with floor joists painstakingly placed in a pattern radiating from a central focal point at the podium.  Lath & plaster walls were used for the original construction, with varying types of plaster and sheetrock incorporated for renovations in 1940, 1957, and 1970.  A mix of quarter sawn white oak and common pine were used for woodwork, depending on the renovation, budget and skill mix available.  Tracery made of plaster was added during a 1940 renovation, as well as lancet arches.  Each of these features, especially the solid masonry walls, presented unique challenges during the design and construction of the project in order to meet the needs of the occupants and also to preserve and honor the history of the building.

What Our Clients Say

"Your personnel succeeded in accomplishing a most challenging project in a fashion which should be regarded as a benchmark goal for the construction industry. Virtually every aspect of measurable performance was surpassed by your project team. Schedule achievement, cost effectiveness and quality of work were areas in which your project team exceeded all expectations."

- Michael A. Petrin, P.E. Vice President Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc.