Coming near the end of construction and touching up of their new church space additions covering, Oakland Chinese Independent Baptist Church held the expansion project preview on Mar 20, 2005. Rev. Alvin Louie led the expansion preview tour and provided several interesting facts and visions of how the building will be utilized.
The newly expanded property has the following characteristics. It is built upon two buildings that was tore down located on 287 and 291 9th St, and it is four stories tall where 1st floor is painted in green representing earth, 2nd and 3rd floor is painted in blue representing sky, and 4th floor painted in white representing heaven. The 1st – 3rd floor will be used for Sunday schools, fellowship rooms, and libraries, and the 4th floor is used for the pastors and the administrative assistant offices.
Connecting together with the original building located on 280 8th St, the newly expanded CIBC property would cover about 15,000 square feet, combined with the main church of about 25,000 square feet, totaling about 40,000 square feet. The new building sits on two adjacent lots of size 25 feet by 75 feet.
“It is one of the rare churches that actually stretch from one side of the street to the other,” said Rev. Louie. “Some even said that there is a Chinese proverb that portrays this condition.”
Originally, they wanted to retrofit the place, but they later find out that it is too expensive to do so. It is actually more cost-effective to tear down both existing buildings on 9th Street, and build the new buildings newly. “The Lord knew it from the beginning to the end.” Louie commented on how it is a miracle for this to be carried out till this day.
Once every details is taken care of and the finishing touches are made, CIBC would be able to accommodate well over 1000 people within the original building, which holds 700 people comfortably, and the expanded side, which holds 600 people more.
“I am very grateful that it is an integrated building.” They thought they were going to have a campus ministry, where the church would purchase property a block or two away from the main church, because it is very difficult to find connecting property in Oakland Chinatown, but by the grace of the Lord, they were to able to come this far.
On April 10th, Oakland CIBC will have its dedication service for the fulfillment of the expansion project that lasted for close to 5 years to dedicate it to the honor and glory of the Lord.