While Pastor Rob and the Fournier Estate Team (FET) initially thought the focus of a potential project would be a significant expansion of the front of the church, including the addition of restrooms, the Town Hall gatherings resulted in change in direction. The Town Halls revealed that access to the facility by guests and those with mobility issues was greatly hampered by the current design of the breezeways. The Town Halls also resulted in the revelation that the south breezeway was identified in an October 2020 engineering report as needing to be replaced in 5-10 years due to deterioration. The north breezeway was also identified as needing significant work and/or replacement due to the concrete spalling under the decking. An additional issue raised at the Town Halls was that the church currently has one, older elevator that is not in an ideal location for facility access. And, finally, concerns were raised about the challenge of moving between buildings due to weather and the electronic locks on the doors. 


      The final proposal developed by BRW, in response to the input of those attending the Town Hall gatherings, greatly improves facility access for guests and those with mobility issues and addresses security concerns. 


Where it began

May 20, 2020, Jeanne Fournier, a long-time member at First Baptist Church passed away. In her will she left the vast majority of her estate to FBC, a figure just under $1.2M.


July 30, 2020 – Pastor Rob appointed as Executor of Estate for Jeanne Fournier by Circuit Court, Albemarle County, VA

The Fournier Estate Team

February 22, 2021  the Leadership Council created an ad hoc Fournier Estate Team (FET) to develop a plan for how to utilize the gift left to us by Jeanne Fournier. The FET consists of Ronnie Bradshaw, Greg Daniel, Debby Hahn, Charlie King, Pam McCauley, and Chuck Ward, with Bill Fulkerson and Pastor Rob Pochek serving in ex officio capacities.


FET met sporadically in Spring and Fall of 2021 to pray and think through task, while awaiting final closure of Estate account with County.

June 29, 2022 – Approval of Fiduciary Report to the Circuit Court, Albemarle County, VA

September 18, 2022 – FET begins regular meetings to develop initial thoughts on a plan for a potential project

October 27, 2022 – FET interviews two companies to consider as partners for a potential project

BRW Architects

January 2023 – after reference checks, further discussion, and a break for Christmas, the FET selected BRW Architects as a partner for a potential project


Where we are now

March 2023 – in a series of three Tie articles, Pastor Rob detailed the work of the FET and announced three church-wide Town Hall gatherings to get input from the congregation. Dates for Town Hall gatherings were April 30, June 4, and Sept 10, 2023.


May 8, 2024 – motion introduced to congregation to engage services of BRW for a schematic design with intention of implementing project. 


Vote to be conducted on June 9, 2024.

Ministry Conference Presentation

MAY 8, 2024

“The Fournier Estate Team and the Leadership Council recommend that the church engage the services of BRW Architects to provide a schematic design of the proposed project to expand and enclose the north and south breezeways, expand the front foyer and add restroom facilities, and provide a covered drop-off and walkway from the rear of the church to the south breezeway, with the $108,760 cost of the schematic design to be taken from the Fournier Estate Fund. It is further recommended that upon successful delivery of the schematic design by BRW, the Fournier Estate Team begin implementing the proposed project and accompanying capital campaign. The Team and Council recommend that a paper ballot vote on this motion be taken on Sunday, June 9th, and require 75% affirmative to pass.” 

Next Steps

On June 9th, following worship, we will conduct a ballot vote on this motion. An “IN FAVOR” vote means we will engage the services of BRW for a schematic design, with the intention of conducting a capital campaign to begin implementation of the projects detailed in the BRW proposal. An “OPPOSED” vote will mean we do NOT do the schematic design and we do not implement a capital campaign or the projects detailed in the BRW proposal. 


We encourage you to think and pray about how to best utilize the resources left to us by Jeanne Fournier as we seek to maximize the facility God has entrusted to us as a tool for ministry.