SJD 2030


On December 3, 1939, the Rev. Thomas Sumners led St. John the Divine’s first worship service at River Oaks Elementary School. From that humble beginning, God has used our church to Change Lives for God in Christ in Houston and the world.

As we look forward to 2030 and imagine the possibilities for St. John the Divine to be a light to the city, brimming with new believers on a discipleship journey with Jesus that equips them take their faith into the world, we have an opportunity to prepare our campus to be a vital piece of ministry for St. John the Divine in 2030 and beyond.

SJD Master Campus Plan

As we discern God’s vision for SJD 2030 and into the next generation, we have an exciting opportunity to imagine new possibilities for our strategically located campus. We want to be bold, creative, and inclusive in considering how our facilities and location will reflect our call to be a “Light for the City” with more people gathering in Christ, growing together, and going forth for others.

Master Campus Plan Town Hall
Sunday, February 25, 6:30 pm in the Hall Life Center

We are excited to share the start of the Campus Master Plan with our parishioners. As SJD grows and looks to the future, we want to ensure that our facilities and grounds are as ready as we are to achieve SJD's vision for 2030. Please join us to learn more about how we got here and the process for developing the master plan, and to meet our architect partners, Merriman Holt Powell Architects.

Question About the Master Campus Plan?

Master Plan Goals

  • Deliver a campus Master Plan that supports The Church of St. John the Divine’s Mission of Changing Lives for God in Christ, as parishioners Gather in Christ, Grow as Disciples, and Go on Mission.
  • Create inviting architecture that harmonizes with the existing campus and that reflects SJD’s values as it aims be a “Light to the City” and is committed to bringing God’s love beyond its campus.
  • Provide facilities that serve a multi-generational congregation, attract new young families, and allow for SJD to grow by 100 parishioners per year for the next ten years.
  • Carefully steward SJD’s property, by making spaces multi-purpose when possible, and by increasing the utilization of the North Lawn.
  • Design a campus with spaces that build community, gracious hallways that allow intuitive flow, and prominently located assembly spaces that are easily accessed from primary circulation.
  • Transform the Westheimer face of the campus to make it more visible and inviting, projecting the image of SJD as a vibrant and outward-looking church.
  • Provide additional parking on the campus, enough to accommodate a typical Sunday attendance.
  • Create a clear and gracious weekday main entrance and Welcome Center, and improve campus security by limiting the number of other entrances.
  • Consolidate each ministry area on the campus to improve travel time and foster greater fellowship within them.
  • Plan staff spaces that facilitate collaboration, group teams together, and that do not interfere with ministry programming.
  • “Future proof” the campus as much as possible, through flexible spaces, accessible technology, proven MEPT systems, and durable, maintenance-friendly materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are we doing a master plan at this time?
    As we work towards our SJD2030 vision, we have a wonderful and important opportunity to better align our facilities with our mission of Changing Lives for God in Christ as parishioners Gather in Christ, Grow as Disciples, and Go on Mission. With the exception of the church renovation in 2005, we have not significantly improved our facilities to support our ministry needs in over thirty years.
  2. How are the needs for our future being determined?
    Our architects and members of our Master Plan committee interviewed representatives from each of our ministries to understand their current and long-term space needs. Those needs will be summarized in a space program, which will function as the needs basis for the Master Plan design.
  3. When will the Master Plan be completed? What happens after?
    The Master Plan will be completed by September 2024. It will include the proposed “Phase One” project at a conceptual level, along with subsequent phases of work in order of their priority. These documents will be presented to the congregation in another Town Hall. After the Master Plan has been approved, the church may elect to pursue the design and construction of the Phase One project at a time of its choosing.
  4. Will the Master Plan include new buildings, renovations, or both?
    The Master Plan design will include the improvements to our campus that are needed to support our mission and fulfill the Master Plan goals. We do not know yet what the exact nature of the campus improvements will be. They may include new buildings, renovations, or both.
  5. What are we going to do with the North Lawn?
    While the North Lawn is owned by SJD, it is platted separately from our main campus and must comply with the deed restrictions of River Oaks Property Owners (ROPO). We are exploring the possibilities for the North Lawn that would allow it to better serve our ministry needs, and plan to discuss those possibilities with ROPO to help determine our options.
  6. If we plan to add parking to our campus, where will it go?
    Parking is often an issue, particularly during the week when we have many programmed activities. While available parking is not currently a significant hindrance to attending our worship services and Sunday School, it is not ideal, and we believe it will become an increasing problem as we grow over time. With this in mind, we believe it will be important to add parking to our campus while we continue to partner with our neighbors to satisfy a portion of our parking needs. We are now exploring ways we can consider adding parking to our campus.
  7. What are we going to do with the Julia Garden?
    The Julia Garden provides a wonderful respite from the city and offers a beautiful and inviting image of natural beauty as a foreground to our church-facing River Oaks Boulevard. As we balance all our campus needs, we may consider options to reconfigure, or perhaps relocate the Julia Garden to another area of our campus.
  8. Are we planning to make any changes to our worship venues?
    Our worship venues will remain at the center of our ministry as we Gather in Christ. The Master Plan will include improvements to each of our worship venues to enhance the worship experience in them. Having been substantially improved in 2005, we do not anticipate a substantial renovation to the church building as part of the Master Plan.

Meet our Master Plan Committee

Merriman Holt Powell, Architects
Jim Powell, President and Principal 

SJD Committee
Chap Hutcheson, ChairKenny Meyer, Vice Chair
Leigh Spruill, RectorHerschel Hamner
Suzanne BouéJunior Warden
Ross AdamsElizabeth Galtney
Ted GobillotCandy Knudson
Jeff MegowLarry Neuhaus
John RossonHoward Schneider

SJD Campus

2450 River Oaks Boulevard, Houston, TX 77019 Map

(713) 622-3600 | infosjdorg