A local church congregation hopes to sell its building and find a smaller facility.
Parsons Nazarene Church, 310 Main St., listed its building for sale about three weeks ago, but the lead pastor said that’s not a sign that the church is struggling in any way.
The Rev. Jake Blankenship said the congregation simply decided the church building was too large.
The church moved from 3100 Wilson to the former Walmart building, celebrating its first service in the new facility on Oct. 24, 2010. The building has suited the church’s needs, but it only uses about 30,000 square feet, while the remaining — 33,000 square feet — is unfinished space.
“The facility is so large that with our current ministries, we’re not going to use all 63,000 square feet of the facility,” Blankenship said.
As the building gets older, maintenance costs have risen as has insurance. Utilities also cost a lot, not to mention the mortgage payment. The church decided it would be better to find a smaller building to better use its finances on its ministries.
When the Nazarene Church first moved into the old Walmart building, the congregation was different. It was a little larger and had multiple physicians and several business people. Blankenship said unfortunately several of those people have moved away because they were transferred or contracts expired.
Despite those people leaving the community, the church is still doing well.
“We’re not going into panic. We’re not going out of business,” Blankenship said.
Actually, Blankenship said, the church has more cash on hand than it did 10 years ago.
“We’re doing much better financially that we have in a long time,” Blankenship said.
The church just wants to put its money to better use in its ministries and helping the community.
“That’s the drive in making this change,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship expects the building to be on the market for a couple of years before it’s sold. The church probably will have plenty of lead time to find a new facility when it does sell, Blankenship said, because a purchase that large would be in the works long before it’s finalized. If needed, the church could meet somewhere temporarily, similar to when its former building on Wilson caught fire. Then, during renovation and repair, the church met across the street at Guthridge School.
“Churches have to transition all the time for different reasons,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship is unsure what potential buyers might be interested in the building. The church is leaving it up to Coldwell Banker Wood-Dulohery Real Estate to market the building. He said it’s likely going to take something unique, or possibly a business will want to use it as a warehouse.
The church also owns Remnant Cafe, 1719 Main, but leases the building. Blankenship said there are no changes planned for the cafe, which is a ministry for the church open to the public.