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First Presbyterian gives its lake house an extreme makeover
In addition to interior renovations, the lake house also got an update outside with new walkways and landscaping to go along with new trails leading from the house.

Lake House Renovation Celebration
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 800 S. Enota Drive, Gainesville
More info: 770-532-188

Last winter when the pipes burst in the ceiling of the First Presbyterian lake house, church members decided it was time to refurbish the old house and make it an asset to the church.

So within about a year church members have put in new landscaping, painted, refurbished the fireplace, and added new furniture and cabinets, among many other upgrades.

"We wanted to make it an asset to the church," said church member and operations committee member Toni Gregory. "The Lord took it out of our hands last February when the pipes in the ceiling burst, and so we really began to look at what we could do. We had a wonderful anonymous couple at the church; we were really able to go in and do a rehabilitation on it, put in new countertops, refaced the ceiling with the insurance money, we painted everything and brought in some furniture.

"Then we had a wonderful group inside the church that wanted to work on the outside because we hadn’t done much to the landscaping."

The lake house — a modest-sized building with one long room, a kitchen, fireplace, bathrooms and a long deck on the back — is on the former shores of Lake Brenau, which was dammed up for years, When the dam broke in the late 1980s, it was not repaired.

"It’s a work in progress, and we’ve got a lot that we want to continue to do," said Gregory, who added that a firepit in the front of the house also was renovated.

Added Debora Holcombe, church administrative assistant, "We hope to eventually have an amphitheater on our Field of Dreams.

"It’s had several uses — our child development center has used it, summer programs for school-aged children, we actually had a Korean church that met there for a while."

So in honor of the hard work by members of the church there will be an open house for church members Sunday to celebrate the reopening of the lake house. The church will provide hamburgers and hot dogs, and members are asked to bring sides and toppings, along with a chair.

"We are really just celebrating reclaiming it and letting everybody see what a treasure we really have," Gregory said.

There also will be music performed by Chuck Nations and Fred Mulkey and activities for children, Holcombe said.

At the event church members also will get a chance to see the plans for an amphitheater that is slated for installation adjacent to the lake house on what the church calls the Field of Dreams.

"It’s already terraced and we could put steps from the church ... and so we are hoping to at some point, may not be this year and may not be next year, to build the amphitheater and have services," Gregory said.

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