Scottsdale founder’s church has big plans - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale founder’s church has big plans

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2008 2:11 pm | Updated: 9:33 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Scottsdale founder Winfield Scott, a teetotaler who publicly advocated for temperance, might have found it gratifying that one day a coffee shop would be named for him.

The café, Winfield’s, is part of ongoing renovations at the First Baptist Church of Scottsdale, also founded by Scott, a Baptist minister and former Army chaplain, after Scottsdale’s founding in 1888.

When completed, the $7 million renovation will give the church a sanctuary that is 11,800 square feet larger, according to Worship Facilities magazine. While retaining some historical aspects, the building will reflect Scott’s desire for the church, at the southeast corner of 70th Street and Osborn Road, to “preserve the tradition of finding ways to reach out to people,” said the church’s pastor of fine arts, Mark Young.

Construction has been under way since January, and church officials hope to have services back in the sanctuary by Thanksgiving. The remainder of the renovation’s first phase, which includes the freestanding Winfield’s, is to be completed by Jan. 1, Young said.

One of the rooms planned in the expansion is a “museum room” where photos and other memorabilia of Winfield Scott will be stored.

Two other phases are planned. Rowland Companies is the project’s contractor.

Young said the main intention of the project is to “eliminate the wall between the church and the community.” He strives to do this by providing secular places that the public can enjoy.

The coffee shop is perhaps the church’s most ambitious effort for that community outreach. The director of Winfield’s, Robyn Olson, hopes the coffee shop will become a new “third home” for the public. The shop is intentionally set apart from the rest of the church with the hope that it will be less intimidating than other church coffee shops, which are often placed right outside the worship center.

Olson said Winfield’s will feature different bands on Friday nights and will host secular concerts and dinner-theatres.

Young added that Winfield’s will provide free wi-fi Internet access and hope it will serve as a “relatively traditional coffee shop.” He said that worship services will be shown on screens inside the shop.

Another forum of connection with the public is in the area of the arts. Young hopes the church can offer arts education to students who may be not be able to have these opportunities due to budget cuts at schools.

Plans to build a recording studio are also in place. Young said this facility would be available for local groups to use at an “affordable price.”

The church also plans to open a food bank that will be available to the community at large.

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