JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board voted without opposition April 10 to rescind its December 2007 decision to relocate its office building to California, Mo., and to look at other options that are more central to Jefferson City.
“The impact of our presence in Jefferson City is undeniable,” MBC Executive Director John Yeats said.
The previous vote to build the MBC office building in California was 24-16-1. Part of the reasoning for making the move at the time was a donation of six acres on Highway 50 by Kenny Vaughan of Vaughan Construction Co. of California. But it also was predicated on selling the Baptist Building—something that has not happened in the last four years.
“While we appreciate Mr. Vaughan’s generous offer, it appears that the state convention’s functions and mission are better served by a location in Jefferson City,” Yeats said.
MBC Chairman John Marshall, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Springfield, said that Vaughan will be notified of the vote. He also read a statement regarding the 2003 Building Study Committee, thanking them for their work and noting that “we are now moving forward with a building study under the direction of our executive director, Dr. John Yeats.”
The board is now considering the possible renovating or selling of the Baptist Building. An architect’s study of the feasibility of a historical restoration, acquiring a new building, or purchasing an existing building was presented to the board for their review. Dollar estimates from The Architects Alliance Inc. of Jefferson City were discussed, and Yeats said he would like to acquire a second study from a Kansas City firm that specializes in historical renovations and may provide further insight in the area of capital generation.
In December 2011, the board authorized up to $25,000 to be spent on this feasibility study process. So far around $16,000 has been invested, Yeats said.
“We need to do some additional research,” he said.
If possible, Yeats would like to find a way to follow the lead of state conventions in Illinois and Louisiana in establishing enough business rental space to avoid having to use CP funds to pay for a renovation. There are desirable retail corners in the Baptist Building that could be leased in an effort to achieve what Yeats called “CP neutral” status.
Formerly known as the Missouri Hotel, the MBC acquired and remodeled its office facility in 1969. The current Baptist Building facility has about 70,000 square feet. In a 2007 study, it was revealed that use at that time was confined to about 55,000 square feet.