I wanted to give you an important update on what has happened with the Shiloh Road property in Forsyth County that we have been considering.
There’s a lot to share, and following this summary you’ll find some detailed answers to several important questions. But rather than leave you in suspense, here’s the big news: In the last week, we have officially withdrawn our offer to purchase the Shiloh church. It’s quite the change from what we thought was happening over the past few months. But we are very confident that this is the Lord’s leading, and we feel completely at peace with the decision, as hard as it has been to make! Here’s why:
We prayed for God’s clarity. As we thoroughly inspected the property, two unforeseen issues emerged: the building foundation and the property deed. You can read further details on those issues below, but they were important new developments.
We prayed for God’s wisdom. On their own, those two issues could have been overcome. However, as we prayerfully weighed the risks with the relatively size of the church building, we sensed uneasiness about this space being our current home. Without considerable changes to the price and timeline, the purchase seemed to be an unwise decision.
We prayed that God would give us peace as we followed His will. As we prayerfully moved through this process, the sense of peace that led us to pursue this property and announce it to the church began to be replaced by uneasiness: for myself, Danielle and the rest of our Ministry Leadership Team. Since the prayerful decision to walk away, His peace has returned and we are even more confident that He is leading us in a different direction.
So we are officially ending negotiations for the Shiloh Road property, and trusting the Lord for what is next. For the foreseeable future we will continue to meet at Legacy Community Academy, which is a huge gift from God! Below are some more detailed thoughts and answers, and if you have any further questions please reach out and let me know. I would love to talk through them with you.
I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who prayed specifically for Danielle and I through this process, and for our leaders that prayed diligently and helped guide this decision through listening carefully to the Lord. I’m so grateful for all of you, and through this journey our family is even more grateful to call The Parish home.
This Sunday, November 6th, we will spend a good portion of our worship service discussing this process, the decision, and what God has taught us for the future. I pray that you can join us for the discussion; it will be an important moment for our church community.
Blessing and peace to you all,
Whew, I’m glad we’re not moving! We’re not moving, right? Our plan is to stay at Legacy at least through the end of the current school year, if not longer. I know some of you are probably relieved to hear this news, and to those of you who weren’t thrilled with the Shiloh option I want to say this: Thank you for your patience, grace, and trust in this process. I know this would’ve been an inconvenient move for many of you, and the fact that you were willing to walk with us in faith was such an incredible display of service and trust. I’m blown away by your love and support, and I hope God uses this process to grow your faith that He will provide exactly what we need.
We’re not moving, though… right? For the time being, no. What we’ve learned in this process is that God is full of surprises, and His plan for us is worth following no matter the cost. So whatever options God brings our way in the future, we will prayerfully consider and follow wherever He leads. We invite you to join us in the journey, and to let us know what You hear from the Lord along the way.
I’m really disappointed; this seemed like such a great opportunity. Are you disappointed too? Obviously, there are things about this decision that are no fun. I’m sad for those of us who were so excited and ready for a more permanent home. I’m sad for our weekly Servant Leaders who I know were looking forward to not having to set up and tear down each week (as was I!). I’m personally disappointed that we felt so strongly that this was the right course, only to have it change at the last hour. But despite the discouragement and frustration, this is definitely the right decision. Sometimes faithfulness isn’t fun, but it’s always right, and God’s peace always follows.
What were the problems with the property? With a 150-year-old building, we knew that some items would need repair. For that reason, we invested a lot of time in the inspection process and combed every corner of the property. Much of it was better than expected, but two significant issues emerged. First, the foundation of the church building was unsafe and needed to be completely re-done. The initial quote for this work was very reasonable, but could quickly balloon to something unexpected once work gets under way. This was a risk we were very apprehensive about committing to without a lot more research, which the seller’s deadline would not allow. Secondly, the deed on the property (from 1845) had a reverter clause which stipulated that if the property was used for anything other than a “place of worship,” much of the land would revert to the original owner or his descendants. This was not problematic for us, but would significantly limit our ability to sell the land in the future if we needed to do so for any reason, again increasing the risk of the purchase significantly.
Could those problems have been fixed? Absolutely, and the property still could have been a reasonable financial investment. However, we also had to weigh these risks with the size of the church building, which was not much larger than our current space at Legacy Academy. If the church had been larger, the additional space might have been worth the additional risk of construction and legally re-working the deed. As it currently stands, however, it is a near-even swap and did not seem wise unless the seller was willing to make considerable concessions on the price or repair of the property. We asked the seller, but they were unable to make significant changes to the price of the property.
What do we do now? We love as Jesus loved and walk as Jesus walked. We trust in God’s promises and follow His word. We meet in a school, and in living rooms and coffee shops wherever we live. We welcome people not to a building or a room, but into the loving community of His beloved bride. And we continue to learn what it means to be faithful, and to see God’s power and grace meet us in that faithful obedience. It’s a journey worth taking, and I look forward to walking it with you all!