Euless First United Methodist Church Conference on Sunday, February 25, 2018, was called to vote on the sale of the 106 N. Main property. This vote is one in a series of votes as we dream to move forward and grow as God is calling us. The results were 98 people for the sale, and 10 against. Thank you, everyone, who came out to continue this time of discernment for our future. In our continued pursuit of transparency, we have put together an FAQ to help answer any pending questions about this vote.
What is the vote on Sunday all about?
Euless First United Methodist Church has been offered $6 million to sell our current 106 N. Main property. To sell property in the United Methodist Church, a Church Conference has to be called and will lead by the District Superintendent. This Sunday’s meeting will be conducted by District Superintendent Ben Disney in the sanctuary beginning at 12:15 pm. The Trustees wrote a resolution for the sale of our property in consultation with the Real Estate and Building Committees. The Trustee unanimously adopted this resolution. The Church Council supported and affirmed the resolution.
Why can’t we just stay at our Main Street location?
Beginning in 2013, Church leaders began discussions about the impact of Highway 183’s expansion to Euless First. Since then, we have seen the demolition of the office building and the completion of a frontage road on the north side of our property. During this time we spent months dreaming and visioning about Euless First in the decades to come. We hired architects to look at remodeling our current location to fulfill this long-term plan. It quickly became evident that we could not afford to stay. The Board of Trustees and ministries of the church feel that the church’s access and safety have declined following the highway expansion. Euless First has faced three prior right of way acquisitions. This is the fourth acquisition in 50 years, and we believe there is a risk of future acquisitions. We now have a wall within feet of our west side Sanctuary door. On the north, the service road is within 22 feet of our building, and there are plans to add raised lanes to the highway. So we will be in direct site of the road. Also, this structure would need major renovations that would take years to complete, with a cost beginning at $9 million (this is after the estimated $1.5 million in deferred maintenance we currently have). With the sale of our property and the proceeds from the highway acquisition, we have been given an excellent opportunity to create a new facility with outstanding curb appeal to build on the rich history we have in Euless.
Will we need a capital campaign?
Yes—we have been blessed with a generous offer from TxDOT and now with the sale of the property. However, our response would be to sacrifice and personally invest as well. God has called us to be generous. It is time for us to have a part in the future dreams of Euless First United Methodist Church. Our hard work and sacrifice will move us to more faithful stewardship and discipleship. We have been working with an architect to give us an estimate of construction and have some preliminary designs of a campus master plan!
Do we have any debt currently?
No—we became debt free in January 2016—thanks to the generosity and faithfulness of so many members.
Can we retain the Highway 183 billboard?
Yes—we are working out details, but we have been clear in the negotiations of our intent to keep the rights to the billboard. We are in year 5 of a 20-year lease with Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising.
How long can we stay in our current facility?
We will have two years to complete our new facility and vacate 106 N Main Street. Should we need to stay longer we should expect to have to pay the penalty to the then owners. We are anticipating a move to a new location in the summer of 2020.
Are we moving to Ash Lane?
No —this Church Conference is only voting on the sale of the 106 N Main Street property. We will have an additional Church Conference for the purchase of another property at the appropriate time. After we withdrew our previous offer on the Ash Lane property, The Real Estate Committee began reviewing all available properties in the area. This delay is to ensure that we are prepared to purchase and that we are sure we are buying the best possible property for us. The Ash Lane property is still available as of now, but we will not purchase, or begin the purchase until we are further along in the sale of our current property. And our sale is contingent on the purchase of another property. At that time we will follow the same procedure, and the Board of Trustees will recommend, in consultation with of the Building Committee and Real Estate Committee, a resolution to purchase a property.
When will building begin on our Main Street East property?
The new owners would not begin work on our current site until after we leave the site. However, the new owners have the right to develop the eastern half of the property while we remain on-site. Any new construction will require a fence and buffer between our east parking lot and any construction activity.
What will happen to our property?
It is our understanding that the new owners plan to build on the western part, the “hard Corner”, and to sell the Eastern portion of the site.
How will the preschool be affected by relocation?
The preschool is currently experiencing explosive growth—with the highest enrollment in 30 years. Recent focus groups ranked the Preschool as Euless First’s most visible and vital outreach to the community. We continue to see young families enter our church six days a week and some are joining the church. The playground was dismantled and stored in the summer of 2016, as a result of the highway expansion. With the help of Jordan Graham and his Eagle Scout project, an interim playground was created, and it that has served us well for this year’s Preschool sessions. The preschool has been fundraising for a new playground and currently has $40,000. The Preschool Director, Linda Lewis, does not feel there is a safe location on our current campus to relocate a playground. Thus she advocates for a move. However, there has been a discussion that the cost of construction could mean the Preschool, at its current size and number of rooms needed, would not be within our initial build. While we have not voted on this and there is nothing definitive, the Preschool is looking at some options to be prepared for this contingency. For instance, there is a discussion of changing facility usage at different times to fit all the Preschool needs, as well as an additional campus. The Preschool has contacted area churches that may partner with us.
What does “multi-purpose rooms” mean?
In many discussions of a potential future building, the phrase “multi-purpose rooms” has been used. In simple terms, this means, we may expect to have fewer classrooms and plan on using them more! One of our goals in a new structure would be to create more efficient space usage. Our architect works with numerous churches and advises creating spaces that can be used for multiple purposes.
Will our historical marker go with us?
Yes, the historical marker can go with us. We know the rich history of Euless First United Methodist Church and want to ensure that the traditions continue wherever God leads us.
Will our smokehouse go with us?
Euless First United Methodist Men have a smokehouse on the east portion of our current property. We all love to have their annual Christmas hams. At this time, however, it is too early in the process to be able to determine if we will be able to move the smokehouse with us.
Will we have to pay for the demolition of this building?
Can we take the stain glass windows with us?
Yes. Stained glass windows are a beautiful reminder of our current place in ministry and the community. We want to remember all that we are and who we are wherever we go. Window’s however, are not like furniture. Buyers often exact to have the windows on a property they purchase. Yet, we have made it clear from the beginning that we will want to take things with us like the windows or the bell.
Who is on our building committee?
Our Building Committee consists of Judy Tribble (chair), Stan Lewiecki, Jenifer Tindel, Janna Hamm, Kyle Lewis, Lynne Moffatt, Jerry Maloney Jr, and Steve Heyduck (pastor). This committee was approved at a special Church Conference in June 2017.
How will this move affect the food pantry?
We expect our new facility to improve the experience and efficiency of our food pantry. Currently, we have a cumbersome storage strategy using numerous rooms around our church. It is our goal to help this ministry continue to grow and improve.
Will our Administrative offices remain off-site?
Our current lease at the Chase Bank Building ends in March 2018. Your Board of Trustees is currently making plans to move the Admin Offices back to 106 N. Main. We will be utilizing the front portion of the Swor Parlor, the Sacristy, and a youth room. It will be a little different, but we will be glad to have everyone back at one building. The back half of the Swor Parlor near the kitchen will remain in place and function as it has for years.
Do we expect a new building to foster growth?
Studies show that new construction attracts more visitors than any other time in the life of a church. We believe that a more attractive and efficient building would foster growth. However, we know this is just part of the equation. Ministries and mission must improve as well to meet the needs of the growth that Euless is experiencing. We want to use a new building is an opportunity to revitalize and reshape our church for a bright future.
Did we have to pay a realtor?
No – we handled the sale of our property directly to the developer end user and the buyer will pay the broker’s fee. When we purchase another site in the near future the seller will pay the commission. We will have no realtor fees.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Euless First is committed to following Jesus a bit better today than yesterday. We want you on this journey with us, and know that it is never an easy path, but one that has great rewards.