“ The original church was built by a group of people who came together , and we were blessed to meet in it , but somebody else paid for it ,” Dauphin explains . The same is true of the semi-permanent worship facility . “ We felt like it was our generation ' s responsibility to continue to be a light in the city of San Angelo ,” he adds . “ So that was how we went into it : trying to build a church that has a great location , a great building , in the city of San Angelo for years to come , perhaps even after we ’ re gone .”
A vision becomes reality The first great “ connector ” of all the campus buildings would be a brand-new , 25,000-square-foot worship facility . Contemporary and welloutfitted , it would include plenty of support spaces , including a large entry / circulation gathering foyer , café , and larger , updated restrooms . Second , PaulAnn would add a 10,000-square-foot education facility with new classroom space for small children . As a first step , the HH team suggested that the entire property face the city of San Angelo — towards the highway ( now built up to a four-lane interstate looping around the city ) instead of the PaulAnn neighborhood — to be as welcoming as possible to the city the church wanted to reach . Mission : accomplished . Now , the new worship facility ’ s large glass façade faces the interstate , in an effort to make people feel safe and want to come inside . Once they do , they gather in a large , environmentally controlled area while enjoying the outdoors as viewed through a large , shaded expanse of glazing . And there ’ s more than enough connection space . “ I ' ve seen that one of the most important spaces you can provide for your people is somewhere to gather before , between and after services ,” Dauphin says . “ Now , we have built-in fellowship and connection space for our people .” Just as critically , the new education building connects all the church ’ s preschool and children ’ s spaces for the first time . Aside from convenience , this answers the call for better security in kids ’ areas . “ Nowadays , safety for our children is so critical ; we needed to have just one entry point ,” Dauphin says . “ Being able to provide a really safe place for kids was really critical to us in tying our buildings together .” The intent to reflect the surrounding community is even evident in West Texas-centric design details such as the ranch gates that frame the main approaches from the north and south of the site , welcoming members and visitors alike . Outside , stone seating and a baptistry — “ a nod to the importance of water in West Texas ,” as Dauphin explains — promote continued fellowship . And at night , carefully considered architectural lighting enhances the entire building .
QUICK FACTS ABOUT
PAULANN CHURCH :
Year established : 1987 Number of staff — full- and part-time : 20 / 7 Combined weekly attendance : 1,500
Stewardship at the forefront Finally connecting all PaulAnn ’ s buildings while also accommodating expanded ministry needs was no small feat — a job which Dauphin has acknowledged , from the start , was beyond his and his team ’ s abilities . “ When you ' re talking about a building that you might be in for the next 40 or 50 years , money spent on planning is just critical ,” he advises . “ We found that any funds spent on professional help was well spent , whether it was our general contractor , our architect , or otherwise .” And while the PaulAnn leadership team was able to control some of the variables , they also emphasize that not everything can be planned for . “ We know that a building is really just a tool ; while it won ’ t guarantee growth , it can take away the limiting factors ,” Dauphin says . “ We felt like God was in control of the whole thing , and we ' re trusting him with the future as well . “ At the end of the day , you and I know that it ' s all about Jesus ,” he adds . “ So , that ’ s our motto for our new building : ‘ New building . Same Jesus .’”