On the heels of the centennial observance that celebrated its past, First Community Church will look toward its future Sunday with the dedication of the new education wing at its north campus.

On the heels of the centennial observance that celebrated its past, First Community Church will look toward its future Sunday with the dedication of the new education wing at its north campus.

The dedication will be observed during both the 9:15 a.m. and 11 am. worship services at the North Campus on Dublin Road. Services will not be held Sunday at the south campus.

Church members and visitors will be able to tour the new space after each of the worship services and refreshments will be served, said senior pastor Richard Wing.

"It's a very exciting time for our church," Wing said. "This has been a wonderful year, first to have our centennial celebration and now to have the first part of our north campus expansion completed."

The 15,604-square-foot expansion includes 10 classrooms/multi-use rooms, a conference room, a small meeting room, storage space and restrooms, he said. The church will gradually move its educational operations into the space over the summer.

The addition frees up existing space that can now be used to adequately house such activities as choir and adult education, Wing said.

The existing administrative offices adjacent to the new wing have also been renovated as part of the expansion project, he said.

The entire project cost about $2.8-million and was fully paid for through a church capital campaign, Wing said.

"It feels really good to have this project entirely paid for," he said. "We have a very successful capital campaign, especially given the difficult economic times."

The need for an expansion of the north campus has been obvious since it opened in January 1991, Wing said. The original building was nearly 20,000 square feet, and even with the addition of a classroom wing in 1996, "our students have been crammed in pretty tight quarters," he said.

In the late 1990s, a growing enrollment forced the church to add module units to house some classrooms, Wing said.

Services at the north campus continue to be held in the fellowship hall, he said.

"Our next phase is to build a sanctuary," Wing said. "It only holds 500 people and we really need a space that can accommodate 1,000 people."

First Community Church has approximately 3,700 members and about 60 percent attend services at the north campus, he said.

The church's governing board is expected to meet this fall to discuss planning for the sanctuary project, Wing said.

Another capital campaign will be needed and the timetable for raising funds is still to be determined, he said.

The just-completed centennial celebration "was a marvelous recognition of our past and a grateful acknowledgment of those on whose shoulders we have stood," Wing said.

"But your history does not get you to where you need to be in the future," he said. "That's what this north campus project will do - take us into our future and allow us to serve more people."

afroman@thisweeknews.com