Pastor’s Letter

Dear Friends,

First and foremost, we wish for you and your family a blessed a happy Christmas season. Each of us approaches the season in different ways, no doubt. However you approach it, our prayer is that you will be filled with the song of the angels and the wonder of the shepherds. What a blessed time of year.

THE FULTON STREET PROPERTY

I’d like to give an update on the Fulton Street property purchased by the congregation in 2007. The property once held a Ketner grocery store, although more recently was home to the K Town Furniture store and the Bijoux Dress Shop. It was purchased to make room for an addition to St. John’s that would house contemporary worship, youth ministry, and space for community use.

In 2011, the congregation unanimously decided against locating the new addition on the Fulton Street property, choosing instead to connect the new addition to our older facility. As you know, we dedicated this new addition as the Faith Center in 2015, the result of our G2G capital improvement campaign.

What is to become of the Fulton Street property? To get at that answer, it’s important to remember why the property was purchased in the first place: to make room for new and renovated space at St. John’s. Although the Faith Center was not located on the Fulton Street property, Council decided to honor the original intent of the property’s purchase and leverage it as revenue towards the G2G plan.

To do so, Council appointed a committee, chaired by Raymond Coltrain, to explore options for the property’s development. After a two-year study – alongside the city and local development and real estate experts — the committee recommended that the church pursue a long-term lease option to build upper level senior housing (apartments) and ground floor retail space. The recommendation would allow the congregation to maintain ownership of the land, meet the increasing need for senior adult living in downtown Salisbury, while receiving revenue from a long-term lease – revenue that would go towards phase 2 of our G2G plan (sanctuary renovation).

Since we have not yet identified an interested developer, Council continues to deliberate as to when we will move forward.

As you can imagine, it can be tricky to work through long-term plans on a significant piece of downtown property. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with an amazing team of leaders who, since day 1, have made sure the best interests of the congregation and community are considered. We’ll continue to keep you abreast of further developments.

Krista and I extend our very best to you this Christmas season. We hope to see you in worship!

+Pastor Rhodes

PS – You’ll be interested to know that planning for phase 2 of our G2G plan will begin in earnest at the beginning of the year. It should be an exciting year!