Southern Oaks Baptist Church Pastor Joe Taylor said he was brought to tears when he saw the architectural renderings for the church's proposed new home — along the banks of the Guadalupe River.
The church is planning a new campus on 56 acres on Bandera Highway. The church will need to spend $1 million to lift the church's foundation out of the flood plain. Building the church could cost another $5 million, but Taylor says the congregation is moving forward.
"Everything and all the children's and youth and all the activities are in a central location where you can keep people safe," Taylor said on Monday's episode of The Lead Live! "I had a vision of this property and when we sat down with the architects, I told them that I had in my prayer I had seen something that would be centralized around the fountain and where there would be a community."
As with every Christian church, water plays a major element in any service, and at this circular campus, the fountain is the focal point — both a reflection of the river and a center of baptismal work.
When Taylor presented his ideas to San Antonio-based architectural firm RVK Architects, he wasn't sure he expressed himself adequately.
"I left thinking there is absolutely no way they're going to be able to draw what I tried to express,'" Taylor said. "So, they hit it. They hit it out of the park. It is phenomenal, and actually, I don't cry very often."
One of the most dramatic elements will be a pair of butterflied roofs, including one over the main sanctuary.
"Some say it looks like an open Bible," Taylor said.
In another element, the campus opens up to the river, and the church will have an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the river and the Guadalupe River Trail, which will connect to the campus.
"We are trying to approach this in such a way that the unchurched will be excited about joining us," Taylor said.