Dear Pastors and Ministry Leaders,
Thanks for your prayers! The move of our international Home Office from Glendora, CA, to Charlotte, NC, is now complete. It’s been an exciting and busy time. Moving employees, supplies, records, furniture, etc. across 2,400 miles was no small operation!
Despite some challenges, surprises and a lot of work, the move has given us opportunity to hit the “refresh button,” yielding several benefits. First are the significant financial savings (see Mat Morgan’s comments below). Second, the relocation provides opportunity to re-brand GCI a bit (see Michelle Fleming’s comments below).
Third, our new office building (pictured above) is more functional. Our office space in Glendora was about twice as large as what we now occupy in Charlotte. In Glendora, our staff members were widely separated, with break rooms and restrooms in the far corners of the building. As a result, there was a lack of “rubbing shoulders” between the various Home Office departments. Our new building in Charlotte has one central break room and one bank of restrooms, and is laid out more efficiently otherwise. As a result, our staff will interact frequently and naturally, helping us implement new ways of working together, yielding a more interactive work culture than we were able to have in Glendora.
We are pleased with the appearance and functionality of our new office building. It represents well who we are as an international denomination and it gives our Home Office staff a total refresh. Each staff member was given the opportunity to design their new work space, giving them a sense of ownership. Most of these work spaces have adjustable desks so employees can stand while working if they choose.
As most of you know, GCI’s Home Office was in Southern California for the past 70 years. While there were many benefits in being located there, the increasingly high cost of living had become a real hardship for our staff members—making home ownership nearly impossible, especially for younger employees. Charlotte has affordable housing, allowing us to hire younger men and women to round out our staff.
Charlotte is also a great location for our Home Office because it is accessible to a greater number of our U.S. congregations. Over 2/3 of those congregations are in the Eastern part of the U.S., with North Carolina squarely in the middle. We trust that our new location will make GCI and GCS meetings and classes held at the Home Office accessible to more people. We look forward to entertaining more visitors—please take this as a standing invitation to drop by. One of our Home Office staff members will gladly give you the fifty-cent tour!
The greatest challenge related to the move involved the restructuring of our Home Office staff. I am deeply grateful for the GCI employees who served on our Home Office staff in Glendora. Fourteen of them did not move with us to Charlotte. Of those, four will continue as employees (working remotely) and several have retired from GCI employment (for a tribute to several of them from Joseph Tkach, click here). The ones not moving, including GCI President Joseph Tkach, gave us a beautiful, gracious send-off. We will dearly miss these wonderful coworkers, most of whom have been employed by GCI from 20 to as many as 43 years.
Nine of our Glendora Home Office employees have now relocated to Charlotte. In doing so, most have taken on greater responsibilities. To fill out this staff, we are planning four or five strategic hires in the near future. It is our goal that our Home Office staff and facilities will show our members and the public that we are careful and thoughtful about the stewardship of the church. We also want them to see that, rather than standing still, we’re moving forward in ways that will serve GCI well for many years to come.
Relocating the Home Office gives me as GCI’s incoming President, the opportunity to review how we operate and to establish my style of leadership. The new Home Office team is working to reshape the culture of GCI for its next chapter. What an awesome opportunity and responsibility that is—thanks for your continuing prayers!
From Mat Morgan, GCI Treasurer
One of my responsibilities as GCI’s Treasurer is to make saving and refocusing our resources a priority in the way we do business. Relocation often re-energizes an organization by encouraging a reassessment of all operations, and by providing invigorating opportunities and fresh challenges for employees and the organization. This move encouraged all of us at the Home Office to look at why and how we do what we do, leading to better use of human and financial resources.
GCI will benefit from the move in cost savings and efficiency in several areas, allowing funds to be used in new and better ways to support our mission. For example, utility, insurance and employee costs will be significantly lower. Earthquake insurance, which was costing the church about $40,000/year, will no longer be needed. Sales taxes in North Carolina, unlike California, are refundable to churches, saving GCI thousands this year alone. Closer proximity to more congregations and the Charlotte International Airport (see the map below) provides financial benefits. Computer and phone systems have been upgraded providing efficiencies in work flow and reduced maintenance. Many GCI and GCS records have been digitized, reducing storage and retrieval costs. We expect even more financial benefits next year after the office and employees are settled in. Though moving and reorganizing have not been easy, we’re excited about the cost savings and the sharper mission-focus, which will benefit GCI for many years to come.
From Michelle Fleming, Communications and Training Coordinator
Moving to Charlotte begins a new chapter for GCI media, and we have updated our branding to reflect the changes being made. Our new branding honors our history while telling who we are today – an international mosaic of churches knit together by grace, who emphasize the gracious triune God. We are committed to a life transformed, lovingly and enthusiastically proclaiming the incarnational Trinitarian gospel.
Earlier this month we launched the GCI Resources website (Resources.GCI.org) and we’ll soon be re-launching our main website (www.gci.org/). Both websites are aligned with GCI’s new denominational branding, with the Resources website providing downloadable versions of our new GCI logo and other graphics, and a branding book that, in addition to giving guidelines for using the logo, shares the story of the transformation the Holy Spirit is bringing about in GCI.
[Note: Michelle’s job responsibilities and title will be changing in June when she becomes GCI Media Director.]
In the future, I hope many of you will visit our new Home Office. In the meantime, please continue to pray for us as we settle in and continue to follow the Spirit on the exciting path God has mapped out for us. As we often say in GCI, “Thank you Holy Spirit, we’ll have more, please.”
Blessings to each one of you,
Greg Williams, GCI Vice President
PS: Here is contact information for our new Home Office:
Address: 3120 Whitehall Park Drive, Charlotte, NC 28273
Member and donation services phone: 980-495-3977
Church Administration phone: 980-495-3976