Work has already begun at the District’s new Ministry Center. We are busy doing light renovations with the hopes of moving in the week of November 24.
We continue to worship the Lord for the way in which He is leading us in this “adventure” with Him. In fact, when I first began my mandate as District Superintendent, I was informed that in the past there had been a dream of one day owning a building that would serve as a Ministry Center for the District. This new Ministry Center is not only to serve as the headquarters for the District, was also, and more importantly, as an incubator for New Ventures, providing a space for church plants until they are able to step out on their own. It has never been a question of having a bigger office space. In reality, our offices will only take about 10% of the space, with the rest being dedicated, eventually, to different ministries.
At first, we were hoping to find a space on the Island of Montreal, close to a metro line. However, in February or March of this year, we were informed that not only had the City of Laval approved a zoning change for the building where the 180 Church was meeting—nothing short of a miracle—but that the owner wanted to sell the building to us. While we were in the process of discerning what all this meant, we learned that a donor was ready to give us the generous gift of $100,000 towards the purchase of the building and that the owner was ready to withhold the amount of $500,000 to be paid in a year (which would give us time to run a capital campaign). Quite frankly, the offer was too good to not recognize God’s hand in it.
Our brother, Allan Hack, went to work to put together a financial plan that would allow us to purchase the building for the District. However, that plan required significant help from the C&MA National Office, to the tune of $100,000, as well as the same amount to be raised from the other Districts of the C&MA across Canada. We were encouraged by the incredible support of the National office, who even went as far as delegating their financial director to come meet with us, with the goal of helping us come up with the best financial plan possible. However, we were overwhelmed to discover that the National office was not willing to offer us $100,000, BUT $300,000! This would allow us to take a mortgage without having to come up with the $500,000 to be paid within a year to the seller.
The 180 Church contributed a total of $200,000 to the project (including the $100,000 from the owner who is a member of the church). We were also blessed with a gift of $50,000 from First Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta.
Our desire is to continue to raise funds from our partners to reduce the weight of our mortgage. This would then allow us to use the building for the sole purpose of ministry (for the short-term we need to rent part of the space to help cover the mortgage).
For the rest, what can I say? The Lord has done great things for us. Praise His holy name! We pray that the building will serve the needs for which it was intended, and that it would be a bridgehead for new holy spaces that will be dedicated to the glory of our Lord.