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News for Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TBC Offices Near Relocation
By Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — The Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention is just weeks away from closing the doors for good at the Baptist Center in Brentwood where it’s been located for 45 years. The board is relocating, and will have a new address beginning the last week in May.

Executive Board leaders signed a three-year lease agreement with LifePoint Hospitals, the hospital corporation headquartered in the building. 

“We’re excited about the move and the possibilities this opens in the future,” said Executive Director-Treasurer Randy C. Davis. “There has been a lot of work by our staff to get us ready to move. It’s not easy to pack up 45 years, but everyone has a real positive spirit and we are all looking forward to getting settled and getting on with the work of serving our Tennessee Baptist churches.”

The mailing address will continue to be P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN, 37024; the main switchboard number will remain 615-373-2255, and toll free number will remain 800-558-2090. Direct dial numbers will also remain the same.

Although involved, the move fortunately won’t be far. The new location is adjacent to Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood and is only a couple of miles from the Baptist Center. The new physical address is: LifePoint Building, 330 Seven Springs Way, Brentwood, TN, 37027. Offices will be located on the third floor.

The details of the move are still being completed, but should take place near the end of May. Details about the building closing, switchboard information and an emergency number will be published as soon as dates are finalized.

The move was precipitated by the sale of the current property located at 5001 Maryland Way, Brentwood. There have been a number of opportunities to sell the property in recent years, and a prospective sale near the beginning of 2013 was voided when local residents opposed the developer’s land use proposal.

The move to the office complex at Seven Springs is temporary while a plan is developed to meet the long-term of the TBC’s executive board.

“We have signed a three-year lease and will occupy the third floor of a brand new building,” said William Maxwell, administrative director. “Most of the building is occupied by a healthcare company and their projected growth shows they’ll need our space in three years. However, that falls right in line with what we were thinking for a transition period while we decide on a permanent location; so it works out great for both them and us.”

The executive board staff is moving from approximately 88,000 square feet of space to approximately 20,000 square feet of office space. That is a significant shift, but one that is much needed, said Davis.

“There is a stewardship issue at the heart of this move,” he said. “There are two primary factors that go into why this is a strategic move for Tennessee Baptists. Our organizational staffing level is much more in line with how we best serve churches, so we simply don’t need all our current building space.

“The other reason is closely related. There is no efficient way to heat and cool that much space, especially with an aging HVAC system. By moving we can be much better stewards of our operating resources.”

The Baptist Center was originally designed by Earl Swensson Associates, Nashville, and it won several architectural design awards at the time. Ground was broken for construction of the Baptist Center in 1968, the building occupied in October 1969 and the building dedicated in November. 

“I’m convinced those Tennessee Baptists who had the vision to construct this building 45 years ago were acting under the leadership of the Holy Spirit,” Davis said. “They took the risk to build this building in a sparsely populated suburb of Nashville that turned out to be some of the most strategic and prime real estate in the state. They left us a tremendous legacy, and we are determined to be good stewards of that legacy with the hope that decades from now future Tennessee Baptists will benefit from our actions as we have benefited from those who went before us.”

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