By Cindy Solomon

Before and after photos of a hallway at Glendale UMC in Nashville. Thanks to a grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, new flooring installed in the hallway and classrooms at Glendale make the building more welcome, safe, and accessible for all who attend.

Glendale United Methodist Church in Nashville received a $4,325 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, a non-profit corporation and extension ministry of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. Money from this grant was used to replace flooring in the church’s hallway and classrooms.

“The floors in our church building were extremely old and cracked in several places,” said Glendale’s pastor Rev. Steph Dodge. “This was very concerning from a safety standpoint, especially for members with limited mobility.” In addition to the safety issue, the floor’s look gave the building a dated feel and was uninviting to visitors and new members.

A local flooring company removed old tile floors and carpet and replaced them with updated and durable wood-like laminate. “The floors are now level and no longer present a tripping hazard,” said Dodge. “In addition, our classrooms and hallway now have a modern, more inviting feel. When prospective new members come through the doors, their first impression is that we take care of our church.”

The flooring project also gave church members an opportunity to come together for work days. First, they moved everything out of the areas receiving new flooring; later they put everything back once the flooring was installed.

“From a practical standpoint, it meant that the baby toys got a thorough cleaning,” said Dodge, “and the children’s materials got sorted. But from a spiritual standpoint, it was a beautiful thing to see the feeling of community engendered by everyone working together for the betterment of the church. It’s easy to become complacent and take the church building that you are in for granted. This project helped to make people stop and think about the future of Glendale—to be truly invested in it.”

Congregant Tommy W. is one of many people benefitting from the new floors. With a surgically repaired knee and nerve issues in both legs, navigating around the church pre-flooring was a challenge and a potential hazard. “It’s much easier to walk around Glendale now that we’ve got new floors,” said Tommy. “My favorite thing is that I don’t have to worry about tripping over the broken floor at the end of the hall anymore.”

“We are extremely grateful for the Golden Cross Foundation grant,” said Dodge. “Glendale has committed itself to mindful outreach in an effort to grow our fellowship. The antiquated, damaged flooring was definitely off-putting. Thanks to the new flooring, Glendale is more welcoming, safe, and accessible for all who come through our doors.”