Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources authorized the purchase of land and construction of a new corporate headquarters in downtown Nashville during their Feb. 1-2 meeting.
“This property is not just a location – it’s a new community in which we can invest ourselves for the future,” president and CEO Thom S. Rainer told trustees.
Artists rendering of LifeWay Christian Resources' proposed new building in Nashville's central business district
The property is five blocks north of LifeWay’s current headquarters with frontage on Interstate 40/65. LifeWay administration will continue its due diligence on the 2.7 acres of land in Capitol View, a new mixed-use development site in Nashville’s central business district.
Rainer told trustees the Capitol View development would be a great location for employees and provide convenient access to hotels, restaurants and meeting space for LifeWay visitors and conference attendees.
The authorization included a recommendation to enter into a contract with Gresham, Smith and Partners for the design of the facility and “to execute other contracts and documents as necessary for LifeWay to complete the new campus.”
“We are designing a building that will reflect LifeWay’s culture both now and for the future,” Rainer said. “It will be a building conducive to collaboration, innovation and fun.”
During a Feb. 4 news conference, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry joined Rainer to announce LifeWay's decision to remain downtown. She said, "I know LifeWay had many options, and we are excited they have chosen to remain a part of the fabric of Nashville."
About 1,100 LifeWay employees are based in the downtown offices and will move into the new building. Rainer estimated the completion of the new building could be as early as November 2017.
During his report to trustees, Rainer talked about the many changes that have occurred at LifeWay over the last 10 years. “We have faced headwinds again and again. But God has worked through these times. It is amazing to see what God has done through LifeWay.
“We are here for such a time as this,” Rainer continued. “And it’s time to move forward.”
In other business, LifeWay trustees:
Elected new board officers. They are: Kent Dacus, vice president for enrollment and student services at California Baptist University, as chairman; Bruce Moseley, pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., as vice chairman; and Darron Edwards, senior pastor of United Believers Community Church in Kansas City, Mo., as recording secretary.
Discussed and approved responses to two motions referred to LifeWay by the Southern Baptist Convention during last summer’s meeting. The responses will be reported to the 2016 convention in St. Louis, Mo., June 14-15.
Recognized eight trustees who are ending their board service in June. They are: Terry Braswell, Lithia Springs, Ga.; Jeanne Davis, Brentwood, Tenn.; Johnny Dickerson, Mansfield, Texas; Kathleen Todd, Brunswick, Maine; Craig Carlisle, Rainbow City, Ala.; Michael Inouye, Kaunakakai, Hawaii; John Hardin, Washington, D.C.; and Jesse Messer, Asheville, N.C. The trustees had a special time of prayer for the family of Messer, who passed away Monday morning.
Heard reports from each of the organization’s vice presidents regarding progress and plans for ministry advance.
Received a “clean audit” report from LifeWay’s outside auditor Ernst & Young.