Thank you to all the members whose involvement and support are integral to building our future together. As a congregation, we are building the future together — for Idlewild and for Memphis!

Construction kick-off  - February 25

The fences are up and construction work is starting on the Jones Building!

Sunday, February 25 at 12:00 p.m. (the end of the 11:00 service), everyone will process out of the church to Evergreen Street for a blessing and dedication of the renovation project. Please join us! Parents, if you have a child in C3, please pick them up before the benediction so they can participate.

Press Release for 2/25/18 

Renderings of new main entrance on Evergreen 


January Update

At its January 25, 2018 meeting, the Session approved the following recommendation of the Building Committee: 

The Session of Idlewild Presbyterian Church approves moving forward with the construction phase of the More Idlewild Building Project, based on a total project cost of $10,800,000. Linkous Construction will serve as general contractor.

This means that construction will begin within a few weeks. Steve Montgomery's letter, sent to the congregation, has a lot of information. As soon as the specific date is set, two things will occur: 

  • The Building Committee will share more details at an information session for members.
  • A project commencement ceremony will be held on an upcoming Sunday, during the benediction at the end of the 11:00 worship service.

Members and neighbors will be notified when dates are set, and more details will be posted here.

The Building Project

In the summer of 2016, following the More Idlewild capital campaign, the Building Committee began working with architects to develop plans for the upcoming project. The scope of the project includes these major areas. This information reflects some significant changes which were approved in August 2017

THE JONES BUILDING will be completely updated and modernized. The Children's Center, on the first floor, will have it's own outside entrance; children's rooms will be multi-functional, to be used by the Children's Center during the week and for Sunday School classes on Sunday. There will be a welcoming entry and reception area at the southwest corner. On the second floor, recreation facilities will be expanded and the gym remodeled, a new kitchen will be added, and a flexible meeting hall and classrooms will be created. The third floor will be classrooms, an expanded youth area, and an updated resource center. 

A NEW, WELCOMING ENTRANCE* will be built on the west side, at the southwest corner of the Jones Building, with outside covered areas, a courtyard, reception area and elevator. Both buildings will be accessible.  

THE SANCTUARY BUILDING will be updated in a few areas only. Most importantly, the west entry will be expanded and made new fully accessible and restrooms will be built at the rear of the T.K. Young Room, where the kitchen currently is. Intial plans included the Trippeer Chapel to be remodeled and made more easily accessible. Other modifications may be made elsewhere.


Click to see the September 2017
to the congregation
(includes strategy, project activities,
scope and design, floor plans,
and renderings of the new entry).



In early 2017, Linkous was selected as the contractor. The Jones Building was cleared and asbestos abatement began in the summer. Internal renovation begins in the fall of 2017. Phase one of construction, which includes the new Children’s Center, will most likely be completed in June 2018, and we expect the final project to be finished by the end of 2018.



Progress Reports from the Building Committee


Congregational update presentations - October 2017

Two congregational gatherings were held in September to update everyone on the revised plans. We had great turn-outs! Members saw the significant revisions made to the building plans, especially regarding the entrances on the west side, and reasons for the changes were discussed. Part of the talk centered around the extensive work needed to update the Jones Building infrastructure, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing and safety requirements, as well as energy-saving considerations and ease of access throughout the buildings. A separate presentation was made for our church neighbors, who were notified in advance.

Many thanks to all the members who are so engaged in the project. It’s exciting to know that the “big” construction work will begin very soon, now that the hazardous material removal process is completed.

The Building Committee will continue to update you regularly, and you can always visit the More Idlewild webpage (\moreidlewild) for other info and FAQs. As a congregation, we are building the future together — for Idlewild and for Memphis!

Building Committee: Kirk Bobo & Steve Valentine, chairs; Chick Hill, Betsy Hood, Albert Johnson, Mark Jones, Lisa Mallory, Charlie McCrary, Josh Poag, Elizabeth Rouse, and Joellyn Sullivan, members; and Pastor Steve Montgomery, Doris Hurdle, Rebekah Abel Lamar, Jenni Brooks, & Ginny Moore, staff liaisons.


Major revisions for the building project - August 2017

Some significant changes have been made regarding the building project and renovations to the Jones Building. These changes were approved by the Session on Aug. 16. Two forums are scheduled in the T.K. Young Room for the congregation to learn about these changes. 

The new plans and entrance design were revised and approved by Session as of August 16, 2017. Rather than a central, three-story glass area connecting the buildings, there will be an entrance into each building: the Jones Building will house a reception area with elevator and open stairwell in the glass tower; the west entrance to the sanctuary building will be expanded and made handicap accessible.

Building update forums will be held for church members on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 12:15 p.m. (following church) and on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6:00 p.m. Church members are encouraged to come to one of these meetings (they are the same) to see the new plans and learn how and why these changes have been made. There will also be a neighborhood meeting Monday, Sept. 18 at 5:30 p.m.

During the summer, the Jones Building was cleared out and a renovation sale raised about $4,000, which goes into the capital campaign fund. Then the building was shut down for the process of asbestos abatement; that continues into September and has to be completed before other work begins.

With Rally Day kick off on August 20, most Sunday school classes have been set up in the sanctuary building; some youth and young adult classes are at the CAFE house on Evergreen or at the Samaritan Counseling Center house on Auburndale. Congratulations to all our cheerful, hardworking volunteers and to our Christian Formation leaders and staff members, who have all done an amazing job with this transition.

Living Faithfully in Midtown

Minute for Mission by Elizabeth Rouse (May 21, 2017)

Since day one, the More Idlewild Campaign and Building Project have been about living as faithfully as we can in Midtown Memphis.

I have been involved in this for several years, and I have never been as excited as I am today. The cleanup day yesterday proved to me that the Building Project pro­cess is going to do major things for our congregation that have nothing to do with buildings. In two years, on the other side of this, we will be a stronger and closer community.

The Building Project is about updating and modernizing the Jones Building facilities and creating a new main entrance on the west side between the Sanctuary Building and the Jones Building.

You can’t see cranes and construction right now — and you won’t for a while — but thanks to the staff and 60 of you who spent yesterday here, you can see dumpsters  filled, rooms in the sanctuary building cleaned out and organized and plans being made for the closing of the Jones Building this summer. 



Moving Forward: Five Core Elements for Reconciling Scope & Budget (April 2017)

The Building Committee and clergy have determined five items as the core elements of this project, and these act as guideposts to help with decisions regarding alterations to the original plan. These five core guideposts are the basis of decision-making when it comes to financial, essential and construction needs of the project.

  • Infrastructure enhancements (heating/cooling in the Jones Building and central plant upgrades/repairs; elevator access to all parts of both buildings; life safety requirements, such as fire sprinklers throughout the Jones Building; and new AV, data systems, and lighting for the Jones Building)
  • A welcoming, fully accessible church entrance (major considerations: west side glass options, door to Trippeer Chapel, fire safety issues with multiple levels open to both buildings)
  • Modern/accessible/flexible meeting, kitchen and dining facilities (extent of demolition and work needed in specific areas; “right-size” kitchen and serving areas, and evaluation of new equipment needs)
  • Safe, state of the art facilities for our children, particularly in the early childhood development center (simplified design, assessing student numbers and needs)
  • Modern/accessible restrooms in both buildings (work with the City to determine fixture count and needs in both Jones Building and sanctuary building restrooms, and evaluate upgrade needs to original sanctuary building restrooms (on the stairs)

The Building Committee works with the architects and construction firms to determine the best actions. Reports are presented to Session each month. Committee members represent as wide as a range of members as possible; they may have varying (or no) construction expertise, have applicable knowledge of the church, and are from several pastoral/ministry units. Here are the committee members: Kirk Bobo and Steve Valentine, chairs; Chick Hill, Betsy Hood, Albert Johnson, Mark Jones, Lisa Mallory, Charlie McCrary, Josh Poag, Elizabeth Rouse, and Joellyn Sullivan, members; and Pastor Steve Montgomery, Doris Hurdle, Rebekah Abel Lamar, Jenni Brooks, and Ginny Moore, staff liaisons.

Update - March 2107

The Session has approved the Building Committee’s recommendation of Linkous Construction Company as pre-construction phase contractor for our building and renovation project. Founded in 1983, Linkous Construction is led by its founder, R.E. Linkous, and his sons, Rusty and Jamie. Jamie and his family are Idlewild members.

A dedicated Linkous team will be working closely with the architectural firm, brg3s, to determine the final plans, details and costs. The project is moving forward in the pre-construction phase. Once this is done, we will be close to a construction date.

The Building Committee is confident that Linkous is the right fit for Idlewild and looks forward to working with their team. The entire Linkous team is well-informed and committed to our project. They have great tenure with Linkous, broad experience and history with church projects. We are especially impressed with their track record and strong client endorsement in working collaboratively with congregations; Germantown Presbyterian Church, Highland Street Church of Christ and the Holy Rosary Parish Life Center are just a few examples. They are very familiar with our neighborhood, as they recently completed the mid-town Kroger.

Stay tuned for more details as the project progresses, and be sure to come to the April 30 potluck featuring tours and trivia.

Update - February 2017

  • We are nearing the final planning stages for the renovation of the Jones Building. As with any big project, planning is key—and because the Jones Building is quite old, preconstruction preparation involves more in-depth work. While we await specific construction dates, we know that some big changes are coming this summer.
  • The Children’s Center will be closed by the end of May. There will not a summer camp. Plans are to open the new Children’s Center in fall 2018.
  • Non-church groups that use the Jones Building have been asked to find new locations by the end of May. (Those include Girl Scouts, HopeWorks, Wings gymnastics, and others.) Events in the Sanctuary Building are not changing.
  • VBS and MAD Camp (June 12-15) will be held in the Jones Building.
  • Other activities could be effected as early as mid-June, Ministry leaders are well into making plans for all our activities and classes during the renovation.
  • Space planning for regular church events (like Sunday school) as well as onsite storage will be coordinated by staff and the building committee; Changes will be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Clearing out the Jones Building and organizing space and storage will be a big project—and many hands will be needed! Watch for ways you can help.

Update - January 2017

The Children's Center will be closing May 26, 2017. Due to the major renovation of the entire Jones Education Building, it has become clear that it will not be possible to offer a safe, quiet and comfortable space for the children’s center during the lengthy construction process. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to close Idlewild Children’s Center at the end of the school year in May.  Our last day will be Friday, May 26, 2017. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall. The Center will reopen in the future, no sooner than Fall 2018.
Read Pastor Steve's letter about the closing.

Update - December 2016 

2016 was a monumental year with the completion of a capital campaign and the beginning of the final design for the building project. The building committee is pleased to report that plans are progressing. The session approved the Architectural and Engineering services agreement with br3s architects. Predesign studies are complete, and the schematic design phase will be wrapped up in the next few months. We anticipate selecting a general contractor to join the project team in early 2017 to assist with pre-construction services.

Our preliminary schedule projects construction will begin in the fall of 2017. Phase one of construction, which includes the new Children’s Center, will most likely be completed in June 2018, and we expect the final project to be finished by the end of 2018. Stay tuned for opportunities to learn more and participate in the future of Idlewild throughout 2017. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the committee.

Update - September 2016

Click here to read the complete update.

The preplanning process is progressing as expected. The architectural firm is brg3s. To start with, all architectural/building plans for the existing buildings have to be digitized and studied. The Jones Building is being examined to see if structural changes are needed. The Building Committee is involved in all aspects. During both planning and building, the Session will review and approve phases as needed.




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