Ridgecrest purchases multi-million dollar property
Once a massive dance club, now set for youth evangelism
By Bob Baysinger
September 16, 2004
SPRINGFIELD – There is about to be another “born again” experience recorded in Springfield.
This time, however, it will not be a person. It is a building.
Ridgecrest Baptist Church, one of the fastest-growing Missouri Baptist congregations, has voted to buy the Remington’s Entertainment Complex, located about two blocks from the Ridgecrest campus on 2210 W. Republic Road.
If everything goes as planned, the building – once used for dances and other entertainment activities – will be “reborn” as a ministry center for Ridgecrest in the near future.
“The church voted 95 percent to purchase the property. Right now, we’re trying to work out financing,” said Nat Burns, Ridgecrest executive pastor.
“The 9.05-acre property has a 33,000-square-foot building and fronts on both the interstate and on the Kansas River Expressway. It has an excellent location. There is paved and lighted parking for 706 cars,” he said.
Ridgecrest was founded 22 years ago and was recognized in 2003 as a Missouri Baptist Convention “Pacesetter” church with 112 baptisms. Hosea Bilyeu has been pastor of the church since 1984.
Burns said Ridgecrest attendees have been using the Remington’s parking lot the last few years and riding a shuttle bus to the church.
“We’ve had a very good arrangement with the owners,” Burns said. “Our senior pastor (Bilyeu) has been talking with the owner off and on. He told them that if they ever considered selling the property to keep the church in mind.”
Bilyeu discussed the potential purchase with his church in the August issue of the Ridgecrest newsletter.
“I believe God has brought this opportunity to pass,” Bilyeu wrote. “When Remington’s was first built, there were members of Ridgecrest who began to claim that facility by prayer for future Kingdom of God efforts.
“… Some months ago, I felt a prompting to call the primary owner of Remington’s in Oklahoma, I thanked him for allowing us to use their parking lot, and mentioned that if Remington’s was ever on the market, I would like to know about it.
“He chuckled and said they were interested in selling the property, but asked that it not be publicized locally out of respect for the ongoing business operation. He indicated the asking price was $4.2 million.”
Bilyeu investigated another piece of property that was for sale and found the asking price to be quite high.
“I reconsidered the Remington’s property, realizing that its neutral location away from our main facility might allow us to put many more ‘hooks’ in the water to catch people for Christ. We would also potentially use it as our Student Ministry headquarters and for other Ridgecrest Faith Families and ministries.”
Burns said the plan calls for Ridgecrest’s student ministry to meet in the facility on Sundays “with something during the week in new and creative ways to reach out to the community.
“It should be a good extension of the main campus,” Burns said. “In less traditional ways, it will provide another outlet to touch the community. We’re hoping to occupy the building by the end of September or the first of October.”
The Remington’s business closed July 20. The building will seat 1,000-plus people.
Bilyeu told the church in his newsletter article that the owners are willing to make a portion of the $4.2 million cost a charitable contribution to Ridgecrest.
“We can purchase the property for $3.3 million. I think we can do it,” Bilueu said. “…I believe Remington’s can be redeemed.”