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God’s Work is rapidly growing on all fronts! The Real Truth subscriber list is booming and the number of baptized members in The Restored Church of God, the publisher of this magazine, is increasing. In addition, the viewership of The World to Come program on the Internet and television is exploding. These factors multiply the daily workload at our Headquarters, located in Wadsworth, Ohio, meaning that additional staff is needed. This growth should be expected. Where God is at work, growth and advancement are always abundantly evident.
Our expansion of membership and staff, the student body of our educational institution Ambassador Center, general operations, and overall workload has brought with it a critical need—more space! This led to the construction and completion of our new Hall of Administration building. It provides a portion of the additional space necessary to finish this great end-time Work of preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God to all nations.
With the completion of the Hall of Administration, the Work is entering a new phase of our campus development. This unique Personal explains the vision of where God’s Work will be in the coming years.
On Friday, June 21, The Restored Church of God held a very special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building. The event took place under a beautiful summer sun, and those in attendance included numerous city officials, members of the community, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, contractors, vendors, teenaged children of members from around the world who were attending our youth camp, and members from the local media. Our dedicated staff, now numbering close to 100, also attended and helped provide support for all the activities.
The former mayor of Wadsworth from 2004 to 2008, U.S. Congressman Jim Renacci, now the representative of Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, joined me in addressing the audience members, who were seated under a tent to shield them from the sun. As a private citizen serving on the Wadsworth Board of Zoning Appeals, Congressman Renacci created the zoning environment that paved the way for the development of our campus. Also on the program and representing the current mayor, Robin Laubaugh, was Wadsworth City Council President Tom Palecek. (Mayor Laubaugh, who has been extremely helpful in our efforts to develop the campus, was unable to attend due to being out of town.)
I shared some history of the Church and explained the grand vision for the Headquarters campus. I related that, in late 2007, a property I had driven past for years in Wadsworth, I suddenly saw as perfect for all of our rapidly expanding needs, meaning five buildings it would have to contain. I envisioned a shimmering jewel befitting the Great God that would be visible—as a biblical “city set on a hill”—to literally hundreds of thousands every day on highways passing either side of what would become our “lower campus.”
At the reception that followed, there was an air of genuine excitement that the city would benefit greatly from what was taking place. Soon, hundreds of employees will join our existing staff.
The first of five campus structures, the Hall of Administration is an elegant 40,000-square-foot building that houses the main administrative offices and operations of The Restored Church of God. The structure represents an achievement in design, construction and technology, and is unique in the region. Its four levels contain a mix of elegance, modernity and technological innovation. Four beautiful chandeliers hang in the building’s signature north and south towers on the second and third floors. Throughout the structure, 605 very long window panes allow natural light to brighten interior offices and meeting spaces. Natural-light-spectrum fluorescent fixtures provide a vibrant work environment for the interior offices as well.
Befitting the quality of the God we serve, the nearly 300,000 square feet of wall space is lined with over four miles of cherry and oak wood trim. To allow for maximum connectivity within and between multiple departments, 10 miles of Category 6 data cable and three miles of fiber-optic cable were laid throughout the building. Our meeting hall has also been finished, with new chandeliers recently installed.
Yet our Hall of Administration building is just the first of many that are necessary. The operations of the Church’s Headquarters will soon grow out of this first building. Due to the expansion of the Work, the need for more buildings has never been greater.
Our second building—the Mail Processing Center—is set to be completed before the end of the year. Our tremendous media growth is causing literature distribution to explode. This requires much more space, equipment and manpower. This new building (12,000 square feet) will house the Church’s mailing and in-house print operations, as well as the Landscaping and Construction departments. The structure will be located south of Ambassador Drive, directly opposite the Hall of Administration.
The World to Come broadcast will soon be among the most watched religious programs in the world. Eventually it will be number one! To keep pace with its continuing rapid expansion, a third building was added to our Headquarters campus—the Media Center. With The World to Come now reaching millions across the world, this tremendous media growth is causing us to outgrow our current television studio. Again, more space, equipment and manpower are required!
This over 4,000-square-foot facility will house three studios of different size, as well as our growing Media Production Services (MPS). These vitally important studios will contain various beautiful set designs, coupled with the very latest technology. More workspace will also be available for our media team to assemble the professional graphics, news footage, powerful statistics, music and other elements that make up The World to Come program. Besides regular broadcasts, MPS also produces extensive annual “Behind the Work” films that detail all the Church is doing, along with many other video and audio productions.
The Media Center will include a much expanded main recording studio—double the size of our current one. It will also have cutting-edge video editing software, a photography studio, conference space, a video machine room, and expanded workspace for the graphic designers and video editors, both current and future. The building will be treated with state-of-the-art soundproofing, which creates the best possible recording conditions.
In an image-driven “video world,” a separate media building becomes a necessity. The constantly evolving television and Internet landscape of today’s media environment means we must be ready to adjust accordingly, and sometimes quickly. The future will make clear in what ways we use television and video, but the Media Center puts us in a position to suddenly shift as the industry does.
Then there is the Student Center. Although timing of construction may change as the need arises, the plan is to begin in late 2013. This facility will contain Ambassador Center, which will provide the training for those who will serve in leadership positions in The Restored Church of God. Located on the north side of the main courtyard, the Student Center, along with the Hall of Administration, will create a “framework” of sorts for the magnificent future Imperial Auditorium—the centerpiece of the entire campus.
In short, these final two absolutely beautiful buildings will further capture the elegance of the former Pasadena, California, campus of the Worldwide Church of God—so much of which is now sadly being either dismantled or sold off to separate private interests.
These four buildings are only part of the many other separate construction projects scheduled for 2013. I am also pleased to introduce our coming agriculture program, which will be one of the most important food production programs anywhere on Earth. Those familiar with the Worldwide Church of God of years past will likely remember the extensive and vibrant agriculture education, research, production, outreach and extension programs that were a division of Ambassador College and took place on two of its campuses (Big Sandy, Texas, and Bricket Wood, England). These cutting-edge biblically based programs were started in Worldwide under Mr. Dale Schurter, the world’s foremost authority on biblical agriculture and sustainable husbandry.
This program has been reinstituted as the Agriculture Education and Research Institute (AERI) of Ambassador Center, again headed by Mr. Schurter. It will soon be a model for all nations, demonstrating the crucial basics about quality food production that have been lost by great numbers today. We hope—and expect—to very soon announce the purchase of some nearby farmland.
All five buildings on the lower campus will be wrapped in trees, spectacular gardens of every design, as well as a lake, a stream with three waterfalls and other water features, all interwoven with up-lit walkways with sitting areas. The developing landscape has approximately 4.5 miles of pipeline buried beneath the surface to irrigate the rolling grounds. Water from our own spring enables us to maintain the green turf and sustain many towering trees, lush plants, and flowers through the hot summer months without the enormous cost of water this many acres and plants would require.
We hope the completed campus is seen as a jewel in the local Wadsworth community.
All of these advancements come directly from the Great God, to whom the campus is dedicated. With the completion of each subsequent building, the gospel of the kingdom can go forth with a greater power and reach than ever before. The core principles of the Bible—how to lead happy productive lives—will reach every nation on Earth many times over.
Keep reading The Real Truth magazine for continuing updates on the expansion of God’s Work!