Please pray as Pastor Jonathan presents CCC's vision and the people of First Baptist Church of Dearborn vote on the following proposal (from: http://www.fbc-dearborn.org/) on Sunday September 7:
Building Information and Proposal
On September 7th, immediately following the worship service, we will hold a congregational meeting to decide the final disposition of the building. Several developments and options have arisen in the last few weeks. These are the options the Leadership Team has been discussing and praying about. This paper is an attempt to disseminate that information, so you can be praying about what direction God is calling us to go. The Leadership Team proposal is at the end of the information.
1. Rev. Jeremy Roth of Redeemer Community Church (RCC) and Rev. Jonathan Swift of Christ Community Church (CCC) would like to buy the building for $60,000, which is the approximate balance we owe to the Detroit Baptist Union for the elevator project.
a. God seems to keep bringing us together, again and again.
b. Both men have roots in this community and a heart for reaching those who do not know Jesus.
c. Both pastors have invited anyone from FBC who is interested to join their congregation. This might allow for some of our elders who wish to stay together to continue meeting in this building under the care of a pastor they know and ordained.
d. Rev. Swift is a part of Converge Mid-America which represents one of the leading church-planting movements in the USA. Rev. Roth is [pastor of an independent church-plant].
e. The Leadership Team offered Rev. Roth and Rev. Swift the opportunity to share their vision with the congregation at the congregational meeting on September 7.
f. We have stipulated in this discussion that we would like the option to sell the organ ourselves and use that money to support ABC ministries.
g. In this option, our legacy is both the ministry of RCC and CCC and the ministries supported through the proceeds of the sale of the organ.
2. We received a valuation of the building from Kevin C. Messier, a real-estate agent who specializes in religious properties. He valued the building at $840,000 to $985,000. He believes that the buyer of this building would be a growing non- denominational/apostolic/Pentecostal congregation looking to move into a larger facility or establish a new campus.
a. Selling the building at such a price would allow us to use that money to support ABC ministries that have been close to the heart of this congregation.
b. We would have no control over who actually buys the building or to what purpose it is put. This was a concern of part of the congregation at the last meeting.
c. Research shows that larger “corporate” sized churches are more likely to pull members from other established congregations than to reach non-Christians.
d. Some group from this congregation would have to be responsible for the maintenance and safekeeping of the building and grounds until it sells. Wayne Neumann,our building maintenance supervisor, is retiring as of December 31, 2014. The terms of the current Leadership Team expire on that date, as well.
3. A member of our congregation who has a relative who attends Kensington Church requested that we ask Kensington if they would be interested in a campus in Dearborn. We decided to have the member ask their relative to approach the leadership at Kensington, and if they are interested, to contact us.
a. At this point, we don’t even know if they are interested.
b. Kensington already has multiple campuses (Troy, Orion, Birmingham, Clinton Township, and Orlando), so they have done this successfully before, and theoretically would have abundant resources.
c. Kensington is a satellite of Bill Hybels' Willow Creek in the Chicago area, and operates with a mega-church-format. Is this the type of ministry we wish to be our legacy, and would this type of ministry be successful in a place like Dearborn?
d. Large groups often move slowly. This means, again, that someone from this congregation would need to be responsible for the property until such time as a sale was finalized.
4. We could put the building on the market for a specified time period, say three to six months; then, if it doesn’t sell, and if they are still interested, move forward with Revs. Roth and Swift.
5. We could, perhaps, negotiate with DBU to take over the building for what we still owe on it. In that case, they would be responsible for maintaining and selling the property. Dr. Mike Williams, our Regional Minister, believes they might also be open to a conversation on how the money they get from the building is used.
The question comes down to what we want our legacy to look like. What do we want to see happening on this corner and in the world when we no longer gather as the First Baptist Church of Dearborn. I know money is a piece of it, but I truly hope that it’s not our only consideration. What option will best further the Kingdom of God in this place, based on the vision God has given us? We have been praying, “God’s will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.” In these next weeks, we must discern what that will is and which option best aligns with our call to “serve God, our neighbor and each other…help non-believers become believers and believers become disciples who…grow the Kingdom of God in our community and the world.”.
The Leadership Team has been faithfully praying about and discussing this decision in the last months and is offering the following proposal to be voted on at the September 7thmeeting.
The Leadership Team proposes that we sell the building to Christ Community Church (Pastor Jonathan Swift) for $60,000. Under this proposal FBC Dearborn would retain ownership of the pipe organ which we will sell on our own.
If this proposal is rejected, the building will be listed on the open market, and someone will need to step forward to be responsible for the property and building in the event that it does not sell by December 31st, 2014. Voting will be by written ballot, and you must be present to vote. There will be no absentee ballots. Please, read, reflect, and pray as we approach September 7th.
Blessings, Pastor Diana and the Leadership Team