BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP) — The Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention voted unanimously to accept a $9 million offer for the convention’s office space in Brentwood, Tenn., during a special called meeting May 17.
The Executive Board has been in its present location since 1969.
David Green, president of the Executive Board and pastor of First Baptist Church, Greeneville, said the meeting was historic for Tennessee Baptists.
The two buildings which comprise the Baptist Center (the original structure and the conference center added in 1989) along with 5.25 acres will be purchased by Franklin Land Associates LLC.
The Executive Board began a feasibility study of selling the property in 1996. In 2005, a committee was formed to deal with inquiries arising from the sale of an adjoining property. Three years later the Executive Board approved the sale of the Baptist Center for $13 million, but the sale did not occur.
Since 1989 when the conference center was added, the number of full-time employees has dropped from 135 to 105. Eighty-eight of those positions are assigned to the Brentwood office and about half of them work with churches in the field, board members were told.
Wes Turner, an attorney and member of First Baptist Church, Nashville, chaired the subcommittee that handled negotiations for the property sale.
The property will be purchased for $9 million. The purchaser will have an inspection period of 90 days after the signing of the contract May 17, Turner explained. At the end of the inspection period the buyer can terminate the agreement and receive a refund of the $270,000 earnest money that was deposited with an escrow agent.
The board will retain the stained glass, furniture, equipment and the “Tennessee Baptist Convention” portion of the rock sign on the corner of the property. If the chapel is torn down in any manner, the Executive Board also has the right to secure the rocks from the chapel, Turner said.
Following the unanimous vote to sell the property, Davis characterized the milestone as “a significant, historical, game-changing day in the life of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.”