From the Pastor….

On Sunday, January 20, our congregation took a critical step toward ensuring that a family of faith committed to reverent, classic worship, personal relationships with fellow believers, and a Christian witness in a changing environment continues to exist in our community. By taking a fixed asset (our excess land) and agreeing to turn it into a flexible asset (a significant amount of money) you gave our leadership and members great opportunities for both ministry and the means to ensure our long-term viability.

I want to commend all of the members of our Ad Hoc Property Proposal Committee, especially chairman Don Nanney and legal counsel Dan Hicks, for their countless hours of work, attention to detail, determination to seek an agreement that was in the best interest of the church, and for their earnest desire to find God’s will regarding the resources over which we have been given stewardship.

When former Governor George Busbee and others decided on this particular property, they had the vision to purchase enough land so that we could provide for adequate facilities and, if it turned out that we did not need it all, to have some determination over who our neighbors would be. Though I am sure they hoped that the congregation would grow to the point that it would be necessary to use all the land, I think they would be pleased to see that, as the community around us changes, we have the opportunity to continue to support our ministries and programs.

I think it is also important to point out that, because the congregation built two fairly large buildings, we have the capacity to double in numerical size and still find our current buildings to be adequate.

And, because the committee recommended a residential developer, we have the opportunity for the first time to be located in a neighborhood, rather than simply being adjacent to commercial properties.

The obvious question now is, given the decision that was made to sell most of our excess property, what happens next? If you read the material that was distributed prior to the meeting on January 20, you are aware that it will still be some time before the transaction is complete. There is a due diligence period during which the buyer will be running tests on the land and seeking municipal and state permits. There will be many months before closing. (Pray that this process goes smoothly.)

In the meantime, as a congregation we must give careful and prayerful consideration to the stewardship of the money we will eventually receive. The finance committee will appoint a subcommittee of knowledgeable members to recommend the initial investment of the money to provide for its security. The nominating committee will nominate and the congregation will elect members to a “legacy committee” that will bring recommendations to the church about the best use of the money. They will welcome and encourage input from our members regarding our stewardship of this resource.

Almost all Christian churches with our demographic makeup are confronting significant challenges. Frankly, not many of them face these challenges with the solid financial foundation that we anticipate. And more importantly, I doubt that any of them have a congregation as determined to maintain its witness and care for one another and our community that Parkway has. I look forward to our future together.