For 43 years the offices of the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention have been housed at 5001 Maryland Way in Brentwood.
The TBC building was one of the first major buildings in Brentwood as the city basically grew around the facility located on the corner of Maryland Way and Franklin Road.
That will change within the next year as the Executive Board made a historic decision last week to sell the Brentwood property for $9 million.
The Executive Board was basically in a win-win situation.
Unlike some sister state conventions that are facing critical financial problems, that is not the case with the TBC.
The Executive Board did not have to sell the property to stay afloat.
The Board could have maintained operations in Brentwood for years to come. Granted, there would have been a cost. The facility needs some capital improvements, but that is something that will happen no matter where the Board will be located.
Kudos go to TBC Executive Board leaders in 1967 who had the wisdom and foresight to purchase 6.56 acres in an undeveloped area south of Nashville for the grand total of $155,000.
As wise as they were, they probably never imagined those few acres would become arguably the most prime property in the city of Brentwood.
Some have questioned whether $9 million is a fair price? By all accounts, it is. Keep in mind the economy has not fully recovered from the recession of 2008. The subcommittee did due diligence and explored all options and possibilities.
Keep in mind that stewardship is the primary reason behind the deciåçsion to sell.
The convention has far fewer employees than it did in 1989 when the conference center was added. And while the conference center was a good addition then, it is no longer utilized as much as it once was.
The strategy of the TBC has evolved over the years where specialists do more training in churches and associations across the state.
The bottom line is that the TBC does not need all the space it has.
Give Executive Board members credit. While they did not ask a lot of questions (and one reason is they were given extensive background material that included a question and answer sheet), they did ask pertinent questions. The best question was whether the TBC could build a new facility under the $9 million the Board will receive for its property.
While anything can happen when it comes to construction, the answer appears to be a solid “yes.”
Plans call for a smaller facility so there will be immediate savings in heating and cooling costs and other related costs. More CP funds could be used for ministry.
While a new site has yet to be determined, it is good to reflect on the words of TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis.
He told Board members that while “we may not know the next physical address of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, we know exactly where the work will be done.
“It will be done in the highways and hedges, hand-in-hand with associations, churches and Great Commission partners across this state, across North America and around the world.”
When all is said and done, that’s what ultimately matters.
Pray for Dr. Davis and the entire staff of the convention during this time of transition. May God be glorified in all that is done.