- 4,000 sq. ft. worship addition
- 1,200 sq. ft. lobby and restroom renovation 2016-2017
- 2,400 sq. ft. worship addition
- 3,400 sq. ft. children’s wing and entry addition
- 2,300 sq. ft. lobby renovation
- 1,500 sq. ft. admin renovation
- 1,380 sq. ft. lobby addition
- 3,800 sq. ft. admin addition
- 1,000 sq. ft. patio with pergola addition
Hickory Creek Church in Frankfort, Illinois, exists to build fully devoted followers of Christ, who grow in their relationship with Christ, fellowship with and minister to others, and reach out in love to those who don't know Christ. This is expressed in their motto, "Love God. Love People. Live it out!”
Years of continual growth resulted in the decision to expand their space, but they wanted to do it without expanding their footprint. Aspen partnered with Hickory Creek on a multi-phase project that creatively expanded their facility, utilizing every inch of space on their property—without expanding their footprint. In the first phase that began in 2008, a new 4,000 sq. ft. worship venue was added. Pews were replaced with chairs so the venue could be used in multiple ways throughout the week. Other work spanning over the next 10 years included a worship space expansion, new entrance additions, children’s wing addition, administrative office renovation, restroom renovation, and all the sitework to go with it, including added parking and water retention.
Each phase of the renovation resulted in multiplied energy from the congregation, and growth increased, so in 2019 another phase was started. This time, Hickory Creek focused on creating space that would engage the community and draw people in. When the pandemic hit during construction, the church didn’t want to lose momentum on the project, so while they were closed to in-person worship, work was able to continue. This phase included a lobby addition with new reception area as well as a new administrative office addition. The expanded lobby included a large family room, as well as a fireside room that opens out to a spacious patio via operable bi-fold windows. When the weather is nice, these windows can remain open, and people can engage between the interior and the exterior spaces. New signage, exterior elevation, and lighting illuminates the patio to bring the building alive day or night. They also added space to their parking lot to accommodate continual growth.
These new gathering spaces are now being used for meetings and as co-working spaces. The family and fireside rooms are also being used for small groups and student ministry—there are even families that bring takeout and have dinner on the patio. Some are using the space for counseling and tutoring students, and a few local businesses have requested to use the spaces for meetings. These spaces are resulting in more connection for the congregation, staff, and volunteers, but also drawing in and welcoming the community in new ways.
When the pandemic hit, like most churches, Hickory Creek wasn’t geared to do online worship. They scrambled and experimented, and because they were in the midst of construction, they decided to add a room dedicated to online tech where they could broadcast the service. In this space the tech team is joined by a pastor who engages and takes prayer requests of those watching online. There were stories of people who found them online and came to Christ and were baptized when they returned to in-person worship. This online experience has now become a regular part of their worship lineup. This space wasn’t on the original plan, but has become like a second, digital front door, helping Hickory Creek meet its goal of being in and for the community.