What are we talking about? Our Future Home Team has narrowed down their search to a specific piece of land that is about 26 acres in Churchville that could be used to not only build a facility for our church to meet in, but also recreational fields and more to benefit and bless our community. As of May 5, 2019, our church membership voted with a 75% majority vote to move forward with trying to purchase this land.
What did the vote do? This vote showed us that the majority of our membership believes that we should pursue this specific piece of land for our church home. It is a “directional” vote. However, the vote did NOT change our mission, strategy, values, vision, or focus - it fell right in light with all that. This vote also does not change our 2019 budget that has already been set to support ministries, missions, and staff. This vote did not clear our church to take out a loan (conversations about raising money and getting a loan will be a different Family Meeting conversation). This is also not a vote on what kind of facility we will have.
Why are we trying to buy land now? Over the last almost two years, a small team of men in our church have been meeting to pray for a facility or property to build a facility for our church to meet in more permanently. However, the desire for a "home" has been prayed about since we started meeting in Churchville. After considering several properties, they believe that now is the right time to start working toward purchasing and building.
Why this particular piece of land? Throughout our Future Home team's research, they actually disregarded this particular piece of land a few times. However, they kept coming back to it because of its premium location, wide entrance, great visibility, adequate sewage system, updated 3-phase electric system, ample land to build on, more than enough land to use for fields and parking, a creek for us to do baptisms, and more.
What about the other properties? Our Future Home Team researched several other land and facility options over the past 18 months. In each of those cases, the land and facilities were either already sold, too small, too old, not in Churchville or Swoope, in a bad location, too expensive, or in too bad of shape.
When will we actually purchase the land? The short answer is: as soon as we raise the money! Whether we try to pay for the land in cash or get a mortgage, whenever a price and contract are set, our membership will have another opportunity to "pull the trigger" and begin working to raise the money. While this all will require faith on our part in God to provide what is needed, we will still strive to be wise with what God has given us and not make bad financial decisions.
When will we have access to the land? It really depends on how soon we can raise the money, whether we get a mortgage or not, or how the contract works out.
When will we build a church? First, we are not trying to build a church (that is God’s job), we are just trying to build a home for our church to meet in! Second, great question! The time it will take to build a facility for our church to use to hold worship services depends on many factors - such as what type of structure we build (metal, brick, or a "Sprung" architectual membrane structure, etc.) and how the finances work out. However, there are many other uses for the land and the current buildings during the week long before we have our own worship center.
Do we have the money to buy this land? No we do not (at least not yet). We have set aside some money in our Future Vision savings for this kind of purchase, but at this point raising the money to buy the land and build seems to be the biggest hurdle (and most common fear) for us to get past. However, God owns all of the resources in the world. So if this is His will, he will provide the money to buy the land, build a building, and run the ministries. When God calls his children to something, He provides the resources as we take steps in obedience. Anything else is not really faith.
How much money do we need? We should know the exact answer to this soon, but right now (after applying some money from savings to the principal) it looks like we will need to raise a little over $300,000 to purchase the land and current buildings outright.
Will we vote any more on this land? Yes. There is a good bit of work to be done on a contract, fundraising campaign, and vision "portfolio," but when it is all finished, our congregation will have a chance to vote again on adopting this future-looking plan and financial commitment or not.
What if I voted NO to pursuing this land? We are faced with an opportunity as a church to choose unity and faith, even in areas that we might be uncertain about or disagree on. We are all in this together! So even if you did not believe that God’s will for our church was to pursue purchasing this land in Churchville, we will all have an opportunity to reevaluate where we are after a contract is written and plans are developed. The Family Meeting on May 5 was to help determine direction for our church. Now we have money to raise, vision to pursue, and work to do! If you still have concerns that you would like to talk to someone about, please fill out the form below.
How can I focus my prayers now that we have voted? Keep praying the same way! We still need clarity on the details, favor with the seller, lenders, and the County, provision from God, motivation toward the mission, consistency with how we are making disciples, and unity within our congregation around our values. Keep praying that God is glorified through what we do and say (and buy and build), that our focus will stay on God's will being done and God’s kingdom being built, and that we will have hearts of praise and thanksgiving the whole way!
How can I give toward the Future Home fund? If God leads you to give to this Future Home initiative above your tithe, you can give online HERE (select “Future Home”), by texting a $ amount and the word “home” to 84321, or by writing “Future Home” on a check or envelope and bring it Sunday or mail to Village Church PO Box 726, Churchville, VA 24421. In the future, there will (Lord-willing) be more options and events to give.
What will the contract look like? A contract will be written and given to the land owner that will clarify everything with a "written roadmap" of clear guidelines that (during a several month study period) will keep us in as safe of a situation as possible if the process takes too long, red flags come up, money does not come in, or a better option becomes available.
How is this land going to help us impact our community? The land (and any facility that we build) has limitless potential to be used for ministry (meeting space, event venue, recreational fields, walking trails, and community gardens are a few of the ideas that have been mentioned already). Also, the community of Churchville and western Augusta County has few gathering spots for the families that live in it - and even fewer that have such a prime location, ample land, and good parking. We believe this is going to allow us to have a huge impact.
What about the floodplain? Although there is almost 2 acres (around 80,000 square feet) to build on, there are about 24 more acres in the flood plain. Practically speaking, building something major (gyms, houses, worship centers) in the floodplain is not an option (due to regulations and high engineering costs), it CAN be used for farming, parking lots, and ballfields. Other small structures (such as dugouts, gazebos, sheds, fences) would have to be engineered in such a way as to not restrict water flow.
What about the barn? The barn can be used for agricultural or farming uses as is. We cannot use the barn for church gatherings without expensive, major renovations to bring it up to all current codes. The barn is currently in use from a business that is paying rent, and we can hopefully continue that lease for additional income to help a mortgage. The barn could be later removed (and the materials sold) or left on the property as an asset if we need to sell the land in the future.
What will we do with the little house:The house on the property can be used for an office, Youth meetings, LIFE Group space, Growth Track, etc. We could also rent it out. Maximum occupancy according to the County is 15 (due to the number of bathrooms).
What about the strip of block buildings? These buildings can be used for office space, meetings, or we could rent them out. According to the County, we could have up to 50 people meet there without having a “change of use” permit.
What happens next? If the contract and plan is affirmed by our church congregation in another Family Meeting, we will begin working in phases. Here is the general direction we would like to head: [PHASE 1] Purchase property with existing buildings, clean up the land, begin using it for outdoor services, events, group meetings, storage, offices, and recreation. [PHASE 2] Study period for architectural designs and fundraising toward a facility. [PHASE 3] Break ground and build a facility for our church to meet!