Visitors Center Update

By Apostle Terry and Cindy Patience

Vol. 20, Number 1 Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2019 Issue No. 77

As many of you know, the church has been in the process of putting together a Visitors Center in the headquarters building. There were many projects that had to be done before it would be presentable. The question was, how presentable? We of the church were rather forgiving when we looked at the condition of the space we are using. Over time, with the help of many people, we were able to clean out a lot of unneeded items, tear down some walls, build new walls, install new doors, and paint some walls. Most of that has been done. We even put up a reception desk and some bookcases to create the reception area.

So, in October 2018 we opened the doors on a regular basis (Thursday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) for the members to come and view the new video. Many of you came in to see it. We also had visitors from the LDS Church come
in to learn more about us. They have all been impressed with the message of the video. Some of you brought in non-member friends, and they too were impressed that we were presenting a message of who we are and what we want to
accomplish.

While we were open last fall, we were able to paint the inside of the old trophy cases and put in new shelving to create a display of church memorabilia. We now call that the Heritage Hall. But there was still more that needed to be done.
So, it came time to temporarily close on Thursday afternoons.

A very necessary project was to make the inside ramp between the reception area and the viewing area into an ADA acceptable ramp. In December, we shut down and moved the desk and bookcases out of the area and had professional men come in and put in the new 24-foot-long cement ramp. They also put in a new longer and wider ramp outside the doors.

We decided that before we reopen on a regular basis, we would take the opportunity to do some more painting so that all the walls matched, paint some doors and trim to match, and spruce the area up even more. The next step is new carpeting, or at least new carpeting in the reception area where it was torn up due to the removal of walls and the ramp construction. Then, we can put the reception desk back and set up the bookstore again.

Before we can have a “grand opening” and invite the public in every day, we want to be sure that the area inside and outside is very welcoming and that signs are up letting the world know that we are here! We feel the Visitors Center should include a new parking lot on the north side of the building because parking on the street is so limited. We also need to have bathrooms for both women and men. To help tell our story, we are planning to have at least one kiosk and a blade image screen. The kiosk will allow visitors to obtain answers to common questions on a touch screen. That means that we get to use our new green screen recording studio as we prepare those recorded messages. The blade image screen will be a repeating recorded message from a projected person from our history. With all that we want to do, we know that people will leave with a warmer feeling about us, and they will have a better understanding of the Lord’s message through his church.

We are also preparing a video to tell the history of the school (the old William Chrisman High School where the church headquarters is currently located). It has a rich heritage, and many people in the area who went to school there will enjoy remembering those years. This is a good time to do that as the school opened 100 years ago. We have a PowerPoint presentation already prepared, and we are converting it into a narrated video.

The next important element of the Visitors Center could be you. We will need staff who will be prepared to show the video and answer any questions that might come up with a brief but concise response. Is that you? Let us know if you would like to help!

The center has already been a great missionary tool, and, as we continue to complete the project, it will be an even greater missionary tool.