El Bethel Baptist Church
In order to accommodate their growing congregation, El Bethel Baptist Church decided to relocate from their Detroit facility. After a lengthy search, they were able to purchase the existing Redford Baptist Church. The location along Grand River Avenue is still readily accessible for members of the congregation from Detroit, while closer to their westerly moving demographic. El Bethel requested Hobbs+Black to develop a master plan for their new location. Phase One included renovations to the sanctuary. These renovations included new carpet, reupholstered pews, new paint, and upgraded audio/video systems. The most significant revision was to completely reconfigure the main chancel platform. The original building was designed with a series of choir risers to each side of the pulpit. These risers faced each other and had little relationship with the congregation. El Bethel requested the choir seating be increased in capacity and oriented to face the congregation. The choir frontal screen was designed to be removable as well as all of the choir seating to provide flexible open tiered risers for interpretive dance and children’s performances. Phase Two, Narthex addition provides additional gathering and overflow space. The Narthex is strategically located to serve the future sanctuary in later phases.