giving header-next step

Family Life’s Building Project Update 

There continues to be tremendous excitement with regards to Family Life moving its headquarters to the Corning, NY area.  This dream began in the summer of 2016 with a visit to an existing facility that the ministry had looked at back in 2008.  However, at that time, the price was prohibitive.  Unbeknownst to Family Life, the building had been subsequently purchased by a friend of the ministry who offered to sell it to Family Life for one-half the asking price in 2008 

At the end of 2016, the Lord miraculously provided, through His people, the funds to purchase that facility.  This building will provide an incredible amount of space for Family Life to expand its ministry endeavors in radio, performing arts, Biblical counseling, and events.  But there is an even bigger vision for the future with the construction of a new theater/auditorium that will accommodate much larger events.  In the summer of 2017, the ministry was able to purchase an additional 21 acres of adjoining property to make that future expansion possible. 

Several approvals were needed before Family Life could move forward 

Prior to the land purchase, Family Life had to go through months of engineering surveys to satisfy the local zoning requirements.  For nearly six months, studies were conducted, meetings were attended, and revisions were made to the concept design.  After much prayer and support from Family Life friends in the local area, approvals were finally granted by both zoning and planning boards. 

At the beginning of 2018, under the direction of Family Life’s radio engineers, a group of wonderful volunteers took on the task of gutting the existing building.  Interior walls were torn down, duct work was removed, equipment was dissembled, and the building was cleared from front-to-back and from side-to-side. 

Many concepts and revisions have been drawn up and Family Life is taking the next step 

The ministry has worked closely with our architectural team to come up with a design and floor plan that will provide for Family Life for decades to come.  These initial designs have invigorated the leadership team with a vision of ministering to a greater number of people within each department.  To say that there is excitement for what this move will create would be a vast understatement.  A lot has happened in the past few years, and we are now taking the next important step. 

Lord willing, a major capital campaign will begin later in 2018, but prior to that, Family Life will be working with our architectural firm to finalize the plans and details that are necessary for a project of this magnitude.  The conceptual design has been formulated.  The schematic design, the design development, and the final construction documents now need to be completed before actual construction can take place.  The estimation completion date for these drawings is December 2018.  As you can imagine, the costs for all the preliminary work are significant when considering the variety of needs that a ministry like Family Life has.  Our prayer is that the Lord would bless us with these funds so that construction can begin soon after the construction drawings are completed. 

Your involvement continues to be very important with Family Life’ building project! 

Helping people understand the freedom, forgiveness, and fulfillment that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the sole purpose of Family Life’s existence!  A building is nothing more than a tool that the Lord can use to invite people to hear that message.  Our vision and desire at Family Life is that this building will be a testimony of God’s faithfulness, truth, and love.  Our prayer is that because of this new endeavor, His greatness will be glorified throughout the entire Family Life area! 

Thank you for partnering with Family Life to impact lives with the message of hope.  May the Lord richly bless you as you follow His leading in helping Family Life with this exciting project!


Yours in Christ,
Rick Snavely



Outline of the Project

History of Family Life's current facility
Why the need for a new facility?
What other possibilities has Family Life pursued?
Why the Corning, NY area?
God is opening doors to move to the Corning area!
How will this dream come to fruition?


New Building FAQs

I thought Family Life purchased some property in Kanona years ago for your new headquarters.  Why did you change your mind about building there?

We have spent the last number of years trying to get state/local help to bring public utilities to Kanona to no avail.  Our architects have told us that the cost of getting these utilities to our site along with the excavation costs would amount to $7,000,000.  This would have to be spent before one block was laid for a new facility.

What do those who contributed toward the purchase of that property think about not using it for the purpose the monies were raised for?  And what will you now do with this property?

Family Life sent out a letter to about 750 donors who had contributed toward the Kanona property's purchase and the buying out of the lease that was held on the property.  We heard back from over 200 of them and 100% of the responses were favorable to selling the property and using the funds from the sale for Family Life's new headquarters.  The value of the property is greater than the price the ministry paid for it in 2005.

Why are you looking to move Family Life's headquarters to the Corning area?

There are a number of reasons why such a move not only makes sense but also can be viewed as the Lord opening this door.  First of all, we discovered that the principal owner of the existing building is a strong supporter of Family Life and has drastically reduced his price for us to purchase it.  The cost of purchasing this building is about 10% of what it would cost to construct it new.  Even with the cost of retrofitting it for our use, it is much less than building it from scratch.  Secondly, the owners of an adjoining property have also drastically reduced their price to Family Life as they appreciate what the ministry does for people.  The overall price of this project is less than half of what it would have cost to build at the Kanona site.

How will being in the Corning area enhance Family Life's programming?

There are a number of other advantages to moving to the Corning area.  Corning is a destination place with hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting each year.  We hope to tap into that tourism traffic with year-round performing arts dinner events where we can share the Good News of Jesus.  Plus, with a greater local population to choose from, other events potentially will be better attended.  Family Life will also have more local volunteers to assist in its outreach.

How soon will this project become a reality?

The current plan is to raise the necessary funds to purchase the existing building by the end of 2016 and the adjoining property in the first quarter of 2017, if not before.  Once that has been accomplished, a major capital campaign will begin to raise the necessary funds to retrofit the building and construct the new theater/auditorium.  Our prayer is that the Lord will supply this within a three-year period.

What will become of Family Life's current facility?

Ultimately we would anticipate selling the present headquarters and use the proceeds to help cover costs of the new facility.

How will this affect the size of the staff at Family Life?

With increased opportunities for more ministry events, and with a larger facility, the need for additional staff will increase significantly.

How can I (we) contribute, outside of a general gift to this exciting project?

There are a number of opportunities to help Family Life reach its goals.  You can donate appreciated assets such as stocks, funds, real estate, etc. and receive very favorable tax benefits.  If you are an employee of a company that matches your donations, you can literally double your contribution by simply filling out a matching gift form.  Family Life can assist you in this endeavor.  If you are 70½ years or older, you can contribute directly from your IRA up to $100,000 annually for each spouse.  This contribution saves on taxes normally paid on your minimum required distribution.

Everyone Can Get Involved!

After hearing her parents discuss the Building Our Future Together campaign, 12-year-old Grace Propert decided she wanted to help.  So, she set out to raise $200 by sewing and selling her very own purses and handbags!  Just before the New Year's deadline, Grace stopped by Family Life to hand-deliver her contribution to Rick Snavely.  A big thank you to Grace and her parents, Nate and Marriah Propert, for this very special blessing!  

Hear Sonny's interview with Grace.