Tolliver: New committee on building sale will work steadfastly
By Allen Palmeri
November 18, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – The committee that will study the feasibility of selling the Baptist Building is going to take its time, according to the newly elected president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
“This is not something we’re going to rush into," said David Tolliver, pastor, Pisgah Baptist Church , Excelsior Springs, “because there are many things to consider."
A motion was introduced at the MBC’s annual meeting to form a study committee to investigate the possibility and feasibility of selling the aging structure. The motion never reached the convention floor for a vote and was referred to the MBC Executive Board for consideration.
Tolliver hopes to present a full slate of five or seven names to the MBC Executive Board for approval at its Dec. 8-9 meeting. He is looking for people who know real estate marketing and real estate law and are patient since their work may consume most, if not all, of 2004.
“I want this committee to have the freedom to work steadfastly but not rush," Tolliver said.
Early on, the committee will need to determine how the Missouri Baptist Foundation plays into the overall equation. The Foundation is one of five breakaway agencies involved in litigation with the MBC.
“The first thing we have to look into is the lease with the Foundation, to see if there is any reason to go forward," Tolliver said. “I know that the Executive Board under Jim Hill gave them a very generous lease."
Controller Jay Hughes said he has ordered an appraisal on the building that should be completed in a few weeks. The appraisal is not needed now, Hughes explained, but may be required by the bank in the future if the MBC needs to set up repayment on long-term financing for a $1 million line of credit. The line of credit has been secured for anticipated MBC legal expenses in 2004.
Tolliver said that while he certainly has feelings of nostalgia about the Baptist Building , it is hard to find a Missouri Baptist who wants to keep it. Maintenance costs for the 77-year-old building are very high, and it is generally accepted throughout the MBC that the large amount of money being spent on utilities and maintenance could be greatly reduced in a more modern, efficient facility.