The Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) will not be moving to Lillington.
“Fundraising efforts to make possible the ‘gift’ of purchasing this building have been difficult in the face of a weak economy,” according to a Nov. 15 press release from WMU-NC.
Two contract extensions had been granted, but “it has become apparent these funds will not be available” by the Nov. 30 deadline, according to the release.
“The Executive Board has thus voted to rescind the contract agreement for purchase and immediately suspend any and all fundraising efforts for this purpose,” the statement said. “A letter to all contributors is being prepared and will provide options for redirecting the use of their donation or of requesting the return of that gift.”
The Biblical Recorder reported May 12 that WMU-NC’s Interim Executive Director Ruby Fulbright announced at the Spring Extravaganza that the WMU-NC Executive Board agreed March 24 to accept a donation of a Lillington office building. Closing on the 16,500-square-foot building was expected in May.
The statement said that since March 24 “there has been much enthusiasm and excitement for what appeared to be an opportunity to launch us into the future.”
A WMU press release in April stated, “This opportunity has been provided by several missions-minded individuals who firmly believe in the purpose of WMU-NC to ‘challenge, prepare and equip Christian believers to be radically involved in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.’”
The move was instigated to provide WMU-NC “with a home of our own,” said Tana Hartsell, WMU-NC president in an email to the Biblical Recorder.
“The Executive Board was confidently assured that the necessary funds to purchase the building could soon be made available upon the announcement of the decision to move forward. In the meantime, the economy continued its downward spiral and those funds were not so easily available.
“The vision and desire to help us still exists. Unfortunately, enough money just isn’t.”
During the Executive Board’s regular meeting in September it was discussed what would happen if it was determined sufficient funds weren’t going to be available in early to mid-November. That decision was left to the Executive Committee, who then took their decision to the full Executive Board.
“This was a most difficult and disappointing decision but through it much has been learned,” Hartsell said.
The move was purported to save the organization more than $70,000 a year that it currently pays to lease space at 1200 Front Street in Raleigh.
The Lillington building was built in the 1940s and was previously used as a furniture store downstairs with office space on the second floor.
“Because of the building’s age, significant renovations, conservatively estimated at $800,000, would be required,” said Hartsell.