ROXBORO – A former Coca-Cola bottling plant will become a
new ministry center for Beulah Baptist Association once renovations are
The association bought the 9,700- sq.-ft., three-floor
building July 3 for $150,000, and leaders hope to begin using the facility for
associational office operations by late August, said Danny Glover, missions
director for the association.
The building will play an integral part in the
association’s plans to boost the ability of association churches to do ministry
and outreach across Person, Caswell and northern Orange counties. For example,
“We want to use this building as a pickup point for our disaster relief
trailer just being completed and for our community events/block party trailer
that we hope to have completed soon,” said Glover.
“There’s the possibility of using space here for a
Christmas toy store for the community and for a job corps training center. We
hope to work in partnership with a Christian help center in Roxboro that
distributes clothes, food and financial resources,” he said, adding that
the building will allow off-season storage of materials. “We may set up an
additional food distribution center here,” he said.
“We have a lot of plans for the place but we’re just
getting started. We want to do some things to help the community. Part of the
reason Coca-Cola ended up selling to us was because we’re going to help the
community. They discounted the price because we’re going to help the
community,” he said.
The Coke building is a perfect location for such work,
because it sits at the intersection of Morgan and Long streets in central
Roxboro, just two blocks off Highway 501. It is near the Person County office
building and across the street from a county parking lot and a city park with
playgrounds. “We’re at a great place,” Glover said.
The association has already obtained a building use
permit from the city government, and Glover said city officials were enthusiastic
about plans for the helping ministries to be put into motion.
Relatively minor renovations will be required to get the
building into useable condition, he said. Associational leaders have been
meeting with contractors to get the heating/air conditioning and electrical
system up to standards.
New windows and general refurbishment will be needed, but
contractors have said the building is structurally sound. The building has
spacious warehouse storage areas, three loading docks and parking for around 75
cars, Glover said.
The front part of the building was built in 1935; the
back part was constructed in 1953. Coca-Cola’s distinctive logo is set in stone
on the front of the building. Coca-Cola officials made only one stipulation in
the transaction: “The Coke logo will remain on the front of the building,
or if we ever sell the building, Coca-Cola will get to remove and keep the
historic Coke sign,” Glover said.
The Coca-Cola company moved its main bottling and
distribution work to Durham many years ago; in recent years the Roxboro
building has been used only on a limited basis for storing equipment.
Expanded ministries and the building will be a big
commitment for Beulah Baptist Association, which until now has had only a small
office on West Main Street. Glover is a part-time, bivocational director of
missions. The association is made up of 34 churches, though in July Beulah’s
executive board accepted a new church, Covenant Reformed Church in Yanceyville,
under watchcare for a year, pending full membership.