In 1953, the little Methodist Church on the corner of East Blythedale and Sycamore made a bold decision—“to go where no church has gone before!” by purchasing 5 acres of bare land on the outer edge of Mill Valley to build a new church complex. This daring choice embraced a growing community with prophetic decisions, such as a building dedicated to preschool education and a sanctuary that would eventually be transformed into a fellowship hall. In 1959, construction began on Fellowship Hall, with much of the labor being provided by church members. This courageous master plan culminated with the construction of a beautiful sanctuary in 1965. In that year, the former sanctuary was converted into our present day Fellowship Hall.
Sixty years later, while the Fellowship Hall continues to function, it is feeling its age, with out-of-date bathrooms, a worn-out kitchen and a design that no longer serves our congregation and community well. The systems are aging—last Christmas’ Community Meal had to be cancelled because of severe sewer problems. In the kitchen, cabinets are falling apart and the design no longer works for the variety of church events and community groups that use the Hall. The bathrooms are not accessible. The Hall itself is dark, worn and uninviting.
Now is the time to turn to Fellowship Hall. It is time once again to be bold and courageous with this amazing gift from our forefathers and mothers of the faith. In 2016, a congregational meeting prioritized the renovation of Fellowship Hall as critical for the church’s future. In 2019, the Trustees created the Fellowship Hall Group to work with an architect for a bold and fresh renovation design for Fellowship Hall, including ADA bathrooms and a modern kitchen. Working with architect Jim Goring, a gorgeous, highly usable plan has been developed.
–a hospitable and open new entrance from the parking lot side, welcoming all.
–removing the stage and adding sliding glass doors and windows. This bright and open corner would expand to a new patio that links the Linda Nelson garden and sanctuary, creating a central space for outdoor events and worship.
–a clean, modern, more efficient kitchen.
–contemporary ADA-compliant bathrooms.
–new windows that open, providing more ventilation.
–replacement of older core systems, such as the sewers.
–new systems for heating and air conditioning, media presentations and sound systems.
The cost for the renovation of Fellowship Hall, including construction, architect and engineering fees and landscaping, is $1.3 million dollars. Over the next three years we will pay for these costs through Vision 2020 pledges and gifts. The construction will be financed with a construction loan. If we are able to raise the entire $1.3 million dollars, in three years, Mt. Tam Church will be debt-free with up-to-date buildings that are welcoming, usable and beautiful.