Building a Firm Foundation

Our Campaign to Build a Mission & Ministry Center

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church has served our Hickory community for over 120 years – doing the faithful work of Connecting All to Christ.

God calls us to care for and cultivate all that He has given us…
not to be complacent, but rather, to constantly strive to be better,
to build on and improve what we have… always trying to realize our God-given potential.

Our Needs

Almost every day St. Stephens is faced with facility challenges that make it difficult to accommodate our needs and hinders the mission and ministry we are being called by our Lord to fulfill.  

Central, Common Church & School Entrance

Expanded Hospitality Hall

Our entrances are scattered and not very distinct, so our community does not offer a visually distinct, warm, welcoming, entryway to our church and school.
  • A central, common entrance is important, especially today, for traffic flow control and building security.
  • Our varied entryways also are not ideal for helping newcomers and guests know where to go once they enter the building.
Our church narthex is not a comfortable place to gather before and after services, weddings, funerals, and other church celebrations and activities.
  • The excessively small and noisy narthex inhibits our ability to foster fellowship, connect with one another more intimately and improve our family of faith’s sense of unity and community.
  • There also is limited room to display or distribute church service, event, and ministry information, to sell goods or tickets, or to sign people up for activities and events.

New Church Nursery & Mother’s Room

Multi-Use Church Fellowship Space

For many families with young children, a church nursery can make the difference between attending church or not. It is important to have a nursery that is convenient, accessible, and welcoming.
  • Our existing nursery is makeshift and does not have dedicated space.
  • Converting our three-year-old preschool classroom into nursery space every Sunday requires moving many items out of the room into the hallway. This cluttered space is not the organized, clean, and safe-looking environment parents seek.
  • The inconvenient location at the end of the preschool hallway requires parents to navigate a usually cramped and congested narthex and hallway to drop off and pick up their children.
  • We have no convenient, designated private place for mothers to nurse their babies.

More & Consolidated Office Space

A central administrative office space can make ministry work more rewarding as well as more efficient, effective, and convenient. Our facilities do not provide adequate, centralized office space for both our church and school staff.
  • Scattered staff offices aren’t conducive to efficient work or team building.
  • Some staff now work out of less-than-ideal converted storage space.
  • We soon need, and plan to hire, additional staff but we do not have office space for them.
  • Using storage space for offices and working areas means we do not have adequate room for our storage items.
Most growing and thriving churches today have dedicated and attractive multi-purpose fellowship spaces. We are growing and thriving but are limited in flexible, soundproof class, meeting, and social spaces, alternative worship spaces, and dedicated youth space.
  • Using our school gymnasium for fellowship events can conflict with school activities. The gym, also, is not a comfortable, inviting space for funeral meals, wedding receptions, and other large and small church and community activities.
  • We do not have enough multi-use adult meeting space.
  • We’d like to expand our worship offerings for gatherings that are too intimate for the sanctuary and gymnasium.

Updated & Accessible Restrooms

Our inadequate and inconvenient restroom facilities do not provide welcoming accommodation to all St. Stephen’s visitors and members.
  • Our one set of men’s and women’s single-stall restrooms is inadequate for a congregation of our size and are not handicapped accessible.
  • Our school building’s outdated multi-stall restrooms are designed for elementary age children.

Recording & Equipment Space

Multi-Use Adult Meeting Space

Covid forced us to get technically up to date to livestream and record our services. We continue this practice to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the homebound, sick, unchurched or without a home church, former members, and those interested in St. Stephens Church.
  • We lack an adequate workspace for our livestreaming and recording technicians.
  • Our make-shift area isn’t designed for or secure for our new, expensive video equipment.

More & Easily Accessible Storage

Our facility provide neither enough nor appropriate storage for everything from tables to church files to office supplies to technology equipment and materials.
Our limited meeting space options restrict our ability to meet our current needs and impacts every desire to expand our ministries and activites.
  • Our one real conference room in the education building is often challenging to schedule because of competing ministries and activity needs.
  • Our largest space for meetings, the Fellowship Hall, is used as the school’s cafeteria 180 days per year. Large meetings must be scheduled around those days and the tile floor makes it a very noisy place for meetings.
  • Large events are held in the gymnasium and must be scheduled around the school calendar.
  • Our parlor is a good multi-use space, but its shared wall with the church and school choir room often make it a noisy and distracting meeting room.

Our Plans

A New Mission & Ministry Center

Our ambitious but, we believe, ultimately achievable betterment plan is to construct a new Mission & Ministry Center addition to the southeast of our Sanctuary.

Welcome Center

Central Church & School Entryway  |  Enlarged Hospitality Hall  |  Nursery & Mother’s Room  |  Convenient, Accessible Restrooms

Specialty Spaces

Gathering Space  |  Multi-Use Conference & Meeting Rooms  |  More Storage  |  Video Equipment Recording Room

Multi-Use Church Gathering Space 

A group gathering space with adjacent warming kitchen. This will provide an alternative, more appropriate fellowship space apart from our school gymnasium for smaller funeral luncheons, wedding receptions, and other events.

New Hospitality Hall

A comfortable, large space for people to linger and visit. This will foster fellowship, a greater sense of belonging, and build a sense of unity and community.  
  • A dramatically larger area connected to our existing narthex.
  • A potential coffee bar to further entice people to linger longer.
  • Room to display and distribute information, sign up people for church ministries and activities, and sell goods or event tickets.
  • A space to help us bond better as a faith community to stimulate our church’s growth and expand our ability to do God’s will and works in new ways.

New Church & School Entrance

A more prominent, easily identifiable, central, and common church and school entrance and entryway will be built.
  • A welcoming and inviting entrance and expansive reception area.
  • An often staffed Welcome Desk.
  • A monitor to provide directions to current events.
  • A display area for church services, support, ministries, and upcoming event information.

Nursery & Mother’s Room

A convenient, dedicated nursery and mother’s room will help reassure and entice families with young children to attend our church services.
  • A large nursery and mother’s room conveniently located by the new gathering and worship spaces.
  • Private, in-room, age-appropriate restrooms.
  • Pre-school rooms that will no longer need to be converted into a nursery on Sundays.
  • Considerably expanded nursery capacity.

Multi-Use Storage Space 

  •  Two new storage rooms in the welcome center wing.
  • Table and chair storage room in
    the new gathering space.
  • Office storage space for church files, technology equipment, and supplies.

Recording Room

A new recording room accessible from the worship space will have more room for all our necessary live streaming and recording equipment.


Multi-Use Church Meeting Space

Large and easily accessible restrooms will make us a truly welcoming church for all members and visitors.
  • Conveniently located immediately inside our new entryway for the Sanctuary and fellowship area.
  • Handicapped accessible auto-opening, wide doors.
  • Appropriately large with handicapped stalls and environmentally friendly updates.
Multi-use meeting spaces for bible studies and school staff, council, board, and adult ministry meetings.
  • One extra-large conference room.
  • One large room to also serve as an overflow nursery space on Sundays.

Church Office Center

The conveniently located office center will be large enough for all of our staff and administration equipment.
  • A welcome lobby and waiting area.
  • A church Administrative Assistant office with walk-up welcome window.
  • The Senior Pastor’s office.
  • Office supply storage/copier room.
  • Offices for our Associate Pastor, Director of Youth Ministry, Bookkeeper, Church Administrator, and an extra office for a potential future church staff member.
  • Staff work and breakroom with a warming kitchen.
  • A technology and technology storage room, a file storage room, and an office supply, copier, and work room.
  • An open, center area with six work cubicles for volunteers and staff to use as needed.


These special giving opportunities, available to donors of qualifying gift amounts, show what we can do with various level gifts. With approval, these also provide a unique opportunity to dedicate a gift in honor or memory of a loved one. 

Giving Opportunities

Building Dedication Opportunities

$600,000   Mission & Ministry Building
$400,000   Church & School Office Center
$300,000   Church & School Welcome Center

Church Office Center Dedication Opportunities

$200,000   Church Office Suite
$75,000      Warming Kitchen & Staff Room
$60,000      Senior Pastor’s Office
$50,000      Church Administrative Assistant’s Office
$50,000      Office Supply Storage, Copier & Staff Work Room
$50,000      Office Waiting & Seating Area
$40,000      Associate Pastor’s Office
$30,000      Director of Youth Ministry Office
$25,000      Church Administrator’s Office
$20,000      Bookkeeper’s Office
$15,000      Church Staff Office
$10,000/each Office Cubicles (6)

Welcome Center Dedication Opportunities

$300,000   Hospitality Hall
$200,000   Large Group Conference Room & Prayer Chapel
$100,000   Entrance, Welcome & Reception Lobby
$100,000   Nursery
$15,000      Welcome Desk
$15,000      Electronic Sign Board

Other Dedication Opportunities

$300,000   Gathering Space
$120,000   Conference Study Room
$75,000/each Large Meeting Rooms (2)
$50,000      Recording Room
The gift amounts listed are not necessarily reflective of the actual cost of the opportunity listed, but approximate the actual cost of the opportunity and factor in its value, visibility and prominence as well as the needs of our campaign and gift abilities as a community. Recognition for capital items given, where applicable, will extend for up to twenty (20) years depending on the useful life of the item. Recognition rights will be granted once payment for the opportunity is fully received. Donors of these various opportunities will have their names and the names of those they are honoring commemorated in a special way, as will all campaign gift donors.

Giving Options

To ensure we reach our objectives and potential, everyone is asked to consider special gifts over and above your regular contributions. Campaign gifts can be made in a variety of ways:

Long-Term Pledges are gifts payable over three years. Gifts may be paid in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual installments via cash, credit card, or direct deposit. We request an initial investment of 10% or more.
Non-Cash Gifts* include securities such as stocks, bonds or gifts through qualified charitable distributions such as IRA rollovers; real estate such as marketable land, homes, vacation homes, and rental or commercial properties; or valuable personal property such as precious metals, gems, jewelry, artwork, collectibles and even new or slightly used and classic automobiles, watercraft, and motor homes.

Deferred Gifts* are another way to support our cause. They might be given or arranged for now but not received until later. Some examples are new or fully paid-up life insurance policies, certain types of trust arrangements, or gifts through a person’s will by bequest.

Matching Gifts provide a possible way to double or even triple your gift to our cause and church. If you serve on the board, work for, or have retired from a company that matches charitable gifts, check with the company to see if they match gifts to causes like ours.  

*All non-cash and deferred gifts must be approved by the church before acceptance.

Join Us

Whatever your gift or method of making it, please know that your support is both urgently needed and greatly appreciated. Through the prayerful, volunteer, and financial support of many, and some extraordinary support, we will succeed.
Please join us in this exciting and essential effort to better serve one another, our community and Christ!

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