Published on Monday, 25 November 2013 16:34
For Sale: Freedom Christian Community’s church building and property located at 152 North Park Street, Brantford, ON.
A brief history of Freedom Christian Community’s 125 year history will help in the understanding of the for sale sign. The "Coles Notes" version:
1885 – A church plant was born and the congregation worshipped in open-air tents and each other’s homes.
1891 – A church property was purchased at 178 Market Street in downtown Brantford.
1956 – Seeking more modern facilities (read indoor plumbing) the church moved to the burbs, 152 North Park Street and constructed the current building.
1965 – The church purchased the empty house next door and it became the parsonage.
1983 – The parsonage was no longer needed so it was converted into Sunday school rooms and offices. A significant construction project was required to connect the existing church building with the parsonage.
As Pastor Greg Pulham told me, this has been on the radar for a number of years, “The building doesn’t function well for the ministry we want to carry out. In addition to that the building is now sixty years old and needs significant renovations. For seven years we have been having the conversation about how to refit the building but we finally came to the conclusion that we can’t stay here.”
The list of repairs/renovations is extensive: replacing windows throughout the building which will require dealing with asbestos removal, repairing a crack in the foundation, plumbing issues and new carpeting – to name a few.
Freedom doesn’t have the financial capacity to do these repairs or tear the building down and build something new. And as Assistant Pastor Liisa Farrugia told me, “It doesn’t make sense to put all our resources into maintaining a building. It just isn’t good stewardship to stay.”
So where are the folks at Freedom Christian Community headed? That’s kind of up in the air and as Greg shared, “At the moment, we don’t have any plans to purchase a building and I think philosophically we never will again. For us the building is unimportant.”
As the congregation checks out various locations for lease that fit with their ministry philosophy/plan, the FMCiC is sorting out what the congregation can do with the capital funds when a church building/property is sold with no intention of purchasing something new.
Freedom is not leaving everything behind as it sets out on this new adventure. A set of crosses from the sanctuary and a giant painting “The Prodigal Son” will be going with them. I’ll keep you posted on where they land.