It has been a few weeks since our last update. I will share with you as to where we are as we near the end of March 2023. Thank you for your prayers as we walk through this together as a church. I will restate what I have shared before, answer some questions I have heard recently, and deal with rumors and false information being presented as fact.
First, as for a recap: GHBC is looking at the possibilities of selling our property and relocating. Why would we even consider something so drastic? Because we are charged by God to do all that we can to see people come to know Jesus Christ personally, and to help them grow in their faith.
Jesus gives us that charge in Luke 19:10 when He clearly states that the Son of Man was sent to the earth to seek and to save the lost. Jesus reaffirmed this as He was about to return to heaven in Matthew 28:19-20, when Jesus charges His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . .”
Reaching people for Christ, planting more churches, and being a good steward of what God has given us; these are the driving motivating factors for considering the possible sale of our property and relocation. Five years ago, God prompted us to plant a new church in Cedar Park. Today, that is an autonomous church that is growing and reaching people in Cedar Park. Two years ago, God prompted us to plant a new church in Liberty Hill. That new church is beginning to reach people who live in the huge Santa Rita development which will have over 50,000 residents when it is completed.
As we consider the mission and the vision given to us by Jesus, I believe that God is leading the planting of other churches in the Central Texas area through Great Hills Baptist Church, and that He intends for us to do that by moving us from our current location.
Ironically, we have done this before when the leadership at GHBC felt it prudent to sell Allandale Baptist property, move to our current property, and change the name of the church. I commend the leadership for their forward thinking. We are blessed with the property and buildings we have because of their visionary forward thinking.
Just as they had their reasons then, we have our reasons today: We are paying $650k each year on utilities/building related items, we are occupying a facility with hundreds of people that was built for thousands, people are still choosing to attend neighborhood churches, and we are still dealing with the fall out of Covid on our attendance numbers. The positives of such a change are having two campuses paid for. One in this area of 78759 and one in Liberty Hill, plus the very real possibility of having money left over to invest and support more missions and eventually more church plants.
As for rumors, we have had some outrageous ones. What amazes me is when those who circulate these rumors present them as a fact but never contact me before airing them publicly.
Rumor 1: I think we have put to rest the crazy rumor of me doing all this because I am going to walk away with millions of dollars. With our checks and balances that would be impossible for me to do, not to mention how that makes me feel that someone thinks that is in my heart to even try to do. Plus, I am not interested in going to prison for embezzlement!
Rumor 2: We are selling and moving the entire church to Liberty Hill. I have been communicating consistently the exact opposite, so that is untrue as well. More about this later.
Rumor 3: We have sold the church to a company in CA and kicked ACS school out; again, this was presented as fact and as you can see there was and is no merit to it whatsoever.
Rumor 4: This one came out on Facebook just this week. It was written by a church member and said that I had been approached by a Baptist Church with an offer of $15 million to purchase our property and buildings, and that I refused and did not even bring to the church as a vote. This is not true. The person circulating this rumor on social media said it was a fact. That is so unfortunate and had he reached out to me I could have told him that was not the case.
As for the move to Liberty Hill I have tried to state repeatedly that I want to establish both a presence (campus) here in this area of 78759 and in Liberty Hill. If we had a place within 5-10 minutes of our GHBC campus that would be ideal and that is what I am pursuing.
I am spending a great deal of time researching and praying over both the possibility of monetizing our property and buildings and mobilizing us for greater ministry. How much are we selling the property for, when do we vacate, and where we are going? All this I am working on to present to the church. Both the selling and relocating are very detailed with tons of variables as you can imagine.
I know it is all a massive change from where we are. I believe in my heart this is what God is leading us to do. But the decision will be made by the church once I can get the facts and research done. It is taking a great deal of my time, but I am committed to getting this and bringing to the church to vote on the proposal to sell and relocate.
In summary here are my goals for this project:
- Vote on this vision at a future date,
- Have a church building (campus) in this general area of 78759,
- Senior Adults will have space for CG (Sunday School) at the building (campus) in this area of 78759.
- We are NOT moving to LH as a church but will plant a campus in LH. We already have a growing church meeting at the Santa Rita Elementary School in Liberty Hill.
I ask for your continued prayers for our church and this vision that I believe is from the Lord. I ask for your prayers for your leadership. If you have questions reach out to our church staff, or Fred Eppright who is doing a ton of volunteer work on this, or our chairman of the "What’s Next" Ad Hoc Committee, Butch Jones.
I also ask that you stay strong. I believe you will be very glad you did. The future is incredibly bright.
Lead Pastor, GHBC
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”