Northwest Baptist Convention (NWBC) leaders are proceeding with plans for selling the current Northwest Baptist Center in central Vancouver and relocating ministry offices to a new building in a more northern part of the city.
The Northwest Baptist Center opened in 1997 with offices for NWBC ministries, the Northwest Baptist Foundation and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s (now Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention) Pacific Northwest Campus. It comprises about 38,000 square feet on nine acres.
Since that time, the space needed for fewer centrally-located NWBC staff, smaller in-person enrollment at Gateway Seminary and options for remote work is significantly less than what was constructed. The current building and acreage “have served the convention’s churches well,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director, “but it is far larger than is needed with current staffing and requirements of the three partner entities.”
The NWBC Executive Board approved the sale and relocation during its meeting last September and messengers participating in last November’s annual meeting approved an exception to the convention’s business and financial plan that allowed the convention to incur up to $5 million in debt, if necessary, to complete the relocation and construction of a new building for the convention, foundation and seminary.
NWBC leaders have been in talks with a potential buyer for the current facility. The commercial realtor contracted to sell the building listed it in the fall for about $9.4 million. Considering a sale with those numbers and current expectations for a new building on another Vancouver site, NWBC leaders expect to have a significant balance of funds for “continuing investments in kingdom ministry to our churches” rather than in the maintenance and upkeep of an aging facility, Adams said.
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(EDITOR’S NOTE – Cameron Crabtree is communications strategist and editor for the Northwest Baptist Convention.)