Elevate Church has grown during its half century from 20 members to 700 and is building a new worship center which is scheduled to be finished in early 2021.
The church, in Miami Lakes since 1967 and known as Miami Lakes Baptist Church until 2014, broke ground in August 2019 on the new sanctuary at 6250 Miami Lakes Drive.
“Our goal is for Christ to be elevated in our community long after we are gone,” said Senior Pastor Louis Egipciaco.
Construction of the new building was estimated to cost $2.5 million when plans were presented to the town council for approval in 2017, according to Mike Mesa, building director for the Town of Miami Lakes.
Eleven years ago, Egipciaco joined the church which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
The new, 17,000 square foot sanctuary will be able to have 800 people for services. Modern touches inside include lots of open space, polished concrete floors and a café, Egipciaco said during a tour of the construction site on Facebook.
A façade of windows will let passersby see the congregation’s fellowship and its welcoming vibe, he said.
“For many years to come, the people in Miami Lakes will know that there is a place where they can hear the truth, that there is hope and salvation in Jesus Christ,” said Egipciaco.
The new church is on 4.21 acres at the southwest corner of Miami Lakeway South and Miami Lakes Drive.
“The building’s design follows a minimalist vocabulary for a contemporary chapel,” said Jose Gomez of Beilinson-Gomez Architects in Miami.
The main sanctuary, the equivalent to a nave in a medieval cathedral, is draped by a thin structural veil, thus creating a modern interpretation of the medieval buttresses flanking the aisles,” Gomez said.
While the old church has a steeple, the new building has a concrete tower with a cross cutout that points toward the sky.
“The juxtaposition of the new and the existing church structures are an example of the energy different generations of worshipers have brought to Miami Lakes,” said Gomez.
The existing 11,299 square foot church will be used for worship services as well as for the children’s ministry and staff offices, said Alina Garcia, an assistant at the church.
Services are being held in Spanish and English and transmitted on YouTube and Facebook during the coronavirus pandemic.
Egipciaco and another pastor tested positive for the virus but were doing well.
In a Facebook message on Sept. 9, Elevate Church’s Executive Pastor Dan Rodriguez asked for prayers on behalf of the stricken clerics and their families.