On July 26, 2020, Pastor Juanfer Monsalve of the Gainesville Seventh-day Adventist Church held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the ongoing construction of the church and allow the members at large to ask questions regarding the state of the church, including the construction and return plan. This meeting was held via video conferencing and was recorded for future viewing.
The video was recorded in full on July 26, 2020. Views and opinions expressed in this open forum may not express the views of the Gainesville Seventh-day Adventist Church, its leadership team, or its members at large.
TOWN HALL Q&A SESSION MINUTES
GAINESVILLE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
JULY 26, 2020 • 11am
This is not a business meeting, so a quorum is not needed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be hosted using Zoom Video Conferencing.
Attendance: Juanfer Monsalve (moderator); Josh Dobson (secretary);
Church attendees via Zoom (recorded)
Started at 11:05am with prayer from Pastor Juanfer
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss things that have happened within the last 2-3 weeks that have affected the timeline for construction of the church. This is to dispose any rumors that have been going on to be transparent with the church to know the true status of the church.
People are getting confused, so many attending other churches. We are going to lose some members because of this delay in construction. Just please clarify if is any disagreement between church officers regarding construction, or spending money from insurance company.
We were supposed to be in church by August 1, but there have been delays. We have spent $672,821.85 to date, which has exhausted all of the insurance payouts that we have had. There is an additional $70,000+ in depreciation money left to payout, however, we need to expense it first and then apply for the insurance reimbursement. We still owe Paul Davis $73,000 for the construction and they will not complete (including exit door) until we pay what is owed. We have the money as a church, but do not have that amount in our insurance account. PD has been burned in the past, so they are holding out until we pay the money they are owed. Pastor talked with GCC and they said to talk with insurance to see if they would make an exception and give us the money up front. The insurance company said no exceptions…we would have to front the $73,000 and turn in the receipts. The conference now has agreed to front us the money and they will keep the insurance payout check to allow us to move forward.
On Thursday, we received the final bill and it is $5,000 more due to the extended stay of the storage units that had to be rented. This $5,000 is INCLUDED in the $73,000 due to Paul Davis. The conference is now working it out with insurance. We are hoping that this week the conference will be able to wire money to Paul Davis and we can work on a final timeline for completing the project, including the side exit door in the sanctuary.
The delay in the construction has nothing to do with any disagreements between any church committees. We have been very cohesive in moving forward with the project. The only thing holding us back has been the insurance payout.
We have not been able to effectively communicate everything because this project has had things changing day-to-day since the project started. But the good news, the conference is going to help us move forward without us having to fundraise.
What about a certificate of occupancy?
As soon as we pay the money, PD will get the inspector to the church to get us the Certificate of Occupancy.
Do we need a certificate of occupancy to start school?
No, the school is not on that side of the building.
When will we find out all of this information and when will the church find out?
Pastor Juanfer can send/text out this information when it is available. We will send out a copy of the total amount paid also to the church (shared in the meeting).
How long are we potentially looking at in order to be complete?
Once funds are accepted, it will probably be another 3-4 weeks once they schedule the construction project in order to complete construction, install other equipment, etc.
Is construction/occupancy the only thing keeping us from going back?
Yes. However, we did receive an email from the hospital system asking local churches to discontinue in-person meetings now due to the surge of COVID patients in the Gainesville hospitals.
What are we supposed to be doing locally per the Gainesville government?
The numbers are increasing fast in Gainesville, but the local government hasn’t given us much guidance other than wear masks, no large gatherings, and continue to social distance.
If the numbers are increasing, should we be going back?
Our board voted that we should not be considering opening up until the numbers are trending down.
Why do other churches not share our guidelines?
The GCC gave no guidelines. There are no Gainesville churches open (New Gainesville and Gainesville Hispanic).
Do you see God leading us to Home Churches instead of a physical church building?
We see a combination of both in the future.
Any updates about the school? Will it be virtual or in-person? When will it open?
It will be in-person in the Fellowship Hall. As of right now, the start date is August 11th. If you want more details, contact Mrs. Rose, Pablo Mendoza, or Betty Willis. We are considering moving to August 17th to coincide with Hall County to allow us to get other sanitizing equipment/measures in place.
Are we opening our school too soon?
We are safe because of the number of students/faculty that we have that will allow us to safely socially distance.
Discussion of the Return Survey…
We are completely divided on what measures we expect when we come back. Some want to come back, some do not want to come back. Responses were pretty much 50/50 on all fronts.
Were there enough people in favor of coming back to actually have a service?
The mixed results of those willing to come back AND be willing to help was not promising. The majority of results of those willing to come back also came in before COVID spiked again in Gainesville. It doesn’t matter how many are willing to go back…but if we do not have enough willing to help out, it doesn’t matter because we cannot rely on someone else.
Is there the option to have those that are participating being the only ones in the building?
That is an option that has been considered. When we eventually go back, it will probably have to be a hybrid and not our “normal” service. We will have to decide what is truly important to worship, i.e. offering collection, etc. We will have to be creative with how we go forward.
Will there be temperature checks?
As of right now, no.
For those that go back, will there be singing?
We do not know right now.
When we go back, it will be very important to think of others before thinking of self. We have to also realize what affects the church will affect the school and vice versa. We have to think of how we can best serve the “weaker brother/sister”.
Meeting ended at 12:28pm with prayer from Pastor Juanfer.
Josh Dobson, Secretary