The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists spent $4.95 million last week to buy 43 acres on Forest City Road formerly owned by Pentacostal preacher and Christian recording artist Clint Brown, who lost the land in August 2014 in a multi-million dollar foreclosure.
Formerly known as Brown’s Faith World Center, foreclosure of the property started in September 2013 by a lawsuit filed by Evangelical Christian Credit Union of California, which was one of several firms owed money by Brown’s church. The credit union acquired the land last August for $1.85 million.
Located west of Maitland at 7601 Forest City Rd., nine of the 10 properties acquired by Florida Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists are contiguous on the Faith World property, totaling just under 43 acres.
The property boasts a sanctuary with up to 2,500 seats, 40-seat chapel, custom recording studio, gymnasium, multi-purpose building with capacity for 300, and office/classroom buildings on a lakefront setting.
“The size of this and its location, the fact it’s in a neighborhood we wanted to target, makes it feel like God had a hand in directing us to that property,” said Kathy Deering, vice president for property development at Florida Conference. “It was well above our financial reach initially but offers everything we need.” The property’s original list price by CNL was $9.95 million.
Florida Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists holds title to land in Florida for its churches and schools, but local congregations have autonomy on what they do with the property. In this case, the local congregation that will move into the former Faith World property is the Spanish-speaking Forest City Iglesia Adventista Del Septimo Dia, which is currently housed in a smaller facility at 1226 Bunnell Rd. in Altamonte Springs, with a school and daycare center.
Shuttered since early 2014, buildings on the Faith World property are in various states of disrepair. Deering estimated another $2 million may be invested in renovations, which will focus initially on roofing and air conditioning repairs.
The non-profit group has not hired contractors yet for the work, but plans to make those hires directly instead of using a general contractor, Deering said. Potential frontrunners for the work are Tip Top Roofing and Pro-Tech for air conditioning, which helped conduct due diligence on the property before purchase.
A community center could be opened on the property to serve the immediate neighborhood, with the school moved there from Bunnell Road as early as First Quarter 2016, Deering said.
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