VOL. 111 | NO. 163 | Wednesday, September 3, 1997
By LAURIE JOHNSON
Mormons break ground
on new Millington church
Chapel is one of three projects
underway in West Tennessee
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Construction is now underway on a new church home at 9604 U.S. Highway 51 for the Millington ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The congregation held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday at the new site, which is located in Millington about 1,500 yards south of the Tipton County line.
The Millington chapel is one of three projects the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints now has underway in the area. Similar projects are underway in Collierville and Dyersburg.
Construction costs for the 11,000-square-foot facility are estimated at nearly $2 million, said David Call, bishop for the Millington ward.
Call said the new building would allow the Millington ward to conduct services and other church activities closer to Tipton County, where a growing number of its congregants live.
"When we get enough members, we try to locate our church houses where they will be more convenient for members in their travels," he said. "Weve had quite a few members who have moved into the Tipton County area."
The Mormon church has several geographically based divisions, one of which is called a ward, and the boundaries of the churchs Millington ward extend from several miles south of Millington to several miles north of Covington.
The Millington ward has been holding services for quite some time in a building at 2350 St. Elmo in Frayser.
The Millington congregation has been sharing this facility with another ward, who will continue to use the building after the Millington group moves to its new quarters.
Call said the new facility will include a chapel that will seat about 175 people. The building also will have a multi-purpose hall with a stage. Classrooms will line a hallway surrounding the building.
Call said the buildings design would allow the church to handle future growth in its membership. It is being built to accommodate two wards.
"We have only one now, but when our membership reaches about 450 or 500 ... after it gets past the point of the chapels capacity, we usually split the ward," he said.
Chris Woods Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor for the project. The church was designed by architect Dusty Driver of Paul D. Gillespie Architect Inc.
This church is expected to be finished within a year, weather permitting.
"We hope it will be ready by the end of September next year," Call said.
Other Mormon chapels in the Memphis area include one in Southaven, one on Winchester Road, one in Bartlett and the group that will continue to meet in Frayser.
Overall membership in the Mormon faith, whose doctrine is based on teachings and prophecies revealed to Joseph Smith, continues to grow, Call said.
He said that throughout the denomination, there are about 350,000 convert baptisms to the faith each year and about 350 chapels are built throughout the world each year.