First Baptist Church to sell 90% of its downtown property

First Baptist Church to sell 90% of its downtown property


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One of the largest footprints notifications.
One of the largest footprints
in downtown Jacksonville is One of the largest footprints
in downtown Jacksonville is
about to change first Baptist in downtown Jacksonville is
about to change first Baptist
Church of Jacksonville about to change first Baptist
Church of Jacksonville
announced plans to reduce its Church of Jacksonville
announced plans to reduce its
downtown buildings from 10 city announced plans to reduce its
downtown buildings from 10 city
blocks just one the church’s downtown buildings from 10 city
blocks just one the church’s
membership is steadily blocks just one the church’s
membership is steadily
declining and the church membership is steadily
declining and the church
management says they need to declining and the church
management says they need to
reduce debt. News 4 Jax management says they need to
reduce debt. News 4 Jax
reporter Kristen Cosby is live reduce debt. News 4 Jax
reporter Kristen Cosby is live
outside the church with the reporter Kristen Cosby is live
outside the church with the
latest on this. outside the church with the
latest on this.
>>Can this is first latest on this.
>>Can this is first
Baptist churches, the oldest>>Can this is first
Baptist churches, the oldest
building built in 19 oh 4 this Baptist churches, the oldest
building built in 19 oh 4 this
building you see right here building built in 19 oh 4 this
building you see right here
this building along with the building you see right here
this building along with the
one next to a connected to a this building along with the
one next to a connected to a
parking garage will be one next to a connected to a
parking garage will be
renovated the plan is to spend parking garage will be
renovated the plan is to spend
30 million on renovations and renovated the plan is to spend
30 million on renovations and
open it in about 2 years 30 million on renovations and
open it in about 2 years
as for the other 9 blocks of open it in about 2 years
as for the other 9 blocks of
the church will that part will as for the other 9 blocks of
the church will that part will
go up for sale. the church will that part will
go up for sale.
>>First Baptist Church go up for sale.
>>First Baptist Church
built this light house in its>>First Baptist Church
built this light house in its
prime in 1996 built this light house in its
prime in 1996
as a symbol of the light it prime in 1996
as a symbol of the light it
wanted to bring to downtown as a symbol of the light it
wanted to bring to downtown
Jacksonville employees tell me wanted to bring to downtown
Jacksonville employees tell me
today. Jacksonville employees tell me
today.
>>The parking garage, it’s today.
>>The parking garage, it’s
connected to doesn’t open on>>The parking garage, it’s
connected to doesn’t open on
Sunday due to drastically connected to doesn’t open on
Sunday due to drastically
declining membership. Sunday due to drastically
declining membership.
>>Gran and a glorious period declining membership.
>>Gran and a glorious period
of time the 181 year-old church>>Gran and a glorious period
of time the 181 year-old church
peak to membership in the of time the 181 year-old church
peak to membership in the
1980’s and 90’s. peak to membership in the
1980’s and 90’s.
>>At its height about 12,000 1980’s and 90’s.
>>At its height about 12,000
people packed the sanctuary.>>At its height about 12,000
people packed the sanctuary.
Today first Baptist pews are people packed the sanctuary.
Today first Baptist pews are
glaringly empty pastor Heath Today first Baptist pews are
glaringly empty pastor Heath
Lambert tells us about 3,000 glaringly empty pastor Heath
Lambert tells us about 3,000
now attend on Sunday Lambert tells us about 3,000
now attend on Sunday
membership has declined for 20 now attend on Sunday
membership has declined for 20
years, declining membership membership has declined for 20
years, declining membership
means a years, declining membership
means a
declining budget and the church means a
declining budget and the church
cannot afford the million declining budget and the church
cannot afford the million
yearly expense to maintain its cannot afford the million
yearly expense to maintain its
buildings the church plans to yearly expense to maintain its
buildings the church plans to
sell 9 of its 10 blocks buildings the church plans to
sell 9 of its 10 blocks
and Lambert tells me offers sell 9 of its 10 blocks
and Lambert tells me offers
have already come in we want to and Lambert tells me offers
have already come in we want to
work with the city we want to have already come in we want to
work with the city we want to
work with investors and work with the city we want to
work with investors and
developers he sat down with us work with investors and
developers he sat down with us
today to talk about the developers he sat down with us
today to talk about the
changes. today to talk about the
changes.
>>And believes church member changes.
>>And believes church member
support his plan they.>>And believes church member
support his plan they.
>>Have made a decision that support his plan they.
>>Have made a decision that
we are dreams for the future>>Have made a decision that
we are dreams for the future
are more important than their we are dreams for the future
are more important than their
memories. Daniel Davis with the are more important than their
memories. Daniel Davis with the
Chamber of Commerce wants to memories. Daniel Davis with the
Chamber of Commerce wants to
work with the church and Chamber of Commerce wants to
work with the church and
developers. work with the church and
developers.
>>To grow the section of developers.
>>To grow the section of
downtown. He believes it will>>To grow the section of
downtown. He believes it will
work for retail business and downtown. He believes it will
work for retail business and
residential space. work for retail business and
residential space.
>>We’ve seen a lot of interest residential space.
>>We’ve seen a lot of interest
all across downtown and I think>>We’ve seen a lot of interest
all across downtown and I think
this is something that there is all across downtown and I think
this is something that there is
a lot of opportunity. this is something that there is
a lot of opportunity.
I can imagine it moving very a lot of opportunity.
I can imagine it moving very
quickly and should they talk to I can imagine it moving very
quickly and should they talk to
folks that are already quickly and should they talk to
folks that are already
interested and I want you to folks that are already
interested and I want you to
pray for me that God will help interested and I want you to
pray for me that God will help
need now a downtown area once pray for me that God will help
need now a downtown area once
packed full on Sundays and need now a downtown area once
packed full on Sundays and
Wednesday nights. packed full on Sundays and
Wednesday nights.
>>We’ll have a new look and a Wednesday nights.
>>We’ll have a new look and a
new future in store. And first Baptist also runs a And first Baptist also runs a
school first Baptist Academy And first Baptist also runs a
school first Baptist Academy
they have just under 400 school first Baptist Academy
they have just under 400
students who attend there. they have just under 400
students who attend there.
>>Doctor Lambert tells me that students who attend there.
>>Doctor Lambert tells me that
the school will still operate,>>Doctor Lambert tells me that
the school will still operate,
however it will likely move the school will still operate,
however it will likely move
locations. First that is also however it will likely move
locations. First that is also
has a satellite campus in locations. First that is also
has a satellite campus in
nocatee that just open recently has a satellite campus in
nocatee that just open recently
there are no plans to close nocatee that just open recently
there are no plans to close
that campus, reporting live

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