The church began construction in May 2017 to make the building more accessible and to provide more space. The $1.5 million-plus project expanded the sanctuary, and the church's fellowship hall on the lower level was renovated.
The sanctuary space has also been expanded to add a larger entryway for the congregation to visit before and after services.
“We are very cognizant that we have inherited a beautiful space to worship from those who came before us, those who built the original building, and we've always felt their presence with it," said pastor of Hopwood Memorial Christian Church, Tim Ross. "I think part of what it means for us to do this construction is we're trying to pay that goodness forward."
The new addition will fix some of the mobility and space issues that the church previously had, said Ross.
According to Ross, the church does not view this expansion as a shiny new part that they don't want to get dirty, but as a place to be used to help minister to the community. He specifically cites the homeless ministry Hopwood participates in with Family Promise in Johnson City. They have already this year provided space as a shelter from the recent icy temperatures at the church.
The church was established in 1834, and portions of the present sanctuary are approaching 150 years old.
Though they are modernizing some spaces, Ross says they have kept the historical parts as well. The architects Reddy and Sykes and Burleson Construction worked closely with the church to maintain the historical appearance.
"We've had a sense of history in this process and we've had one eye looking back with gratitude and we've had one eye looking forward with great anticipation," said Ross.
The dedication will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the church and tours will be held for anyone who wouldl like one from noon to 2 p.m. on Sun. Jan. 14. For more information, call Hopwood Memorial Church Church at 423-926-1194. Hopwood Memorial Christian Church is located at 109 Hopwood Lane in the Milligan College Campus.