Vine Street Christian Church and Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA) announced today they have reached an agreement for MBA to purchase a portion of the church’s property, which is adjacent to the school’s Harding Road campus. The five acres of the church’s property will be divided into two new parcels, with MBA purchasing approximately 3.5 acres and the church retaining approximately 1.5 acres.
The congregation of Vine Street Christian Church, which will continue to worship at its current location, determined last year to strategically pursue opportunities enabling the church to practice good stewardship of the underutilized portion of its property and to enhance Vine Street’s present and future ministries.
Rev. Thomas Kleinert, senior minister of Vine Street, said, “This property decision is one of the most important ones in recent decades for the church, comparable in scope only to the decision to move from downtown to our current location. Thus the congregation has followed a very deliberate and prayerful process to prepare for this moment. I believe the opportunities for transformation this sale opens are tremendous and can be beneficial to many. More than just a property sale, we anticipate a partnership with MBA that allows for shared use of our facilities to serve the MBA campus, the Vine Street congregation and our surrounding neighborhood for years to come. In addition, this sale allows Vine Street to fully embrace the Future Story our congregation imagined together last year, allowing us to enhance our current ministries and ponder future ways for meaningful impact in our community.”
Brad Gioia, MBA Headmaster, commented, “For more than 50 years, MBA has had a good partnership with the Vine Street Christian Church through shared uses of their campuses. Nearly two decades ago, the MBA Board determined that property adjoining our campus was strategically important to the school and the acquisition and improvement of that property would help build better relationships with our neighbors and the community. The new sidewalks on Wilson Boulevard and the invitation to our neighbors to enjoy the campus are two examples of our efforts to strengthen these relationships. We have discussed with Vine Street over the years that should they wish to sell any property, MBA would be interested in acquiring that land. We look forward to this new chapter in our partnership with Vine Street Christian Church.”
The sale is anticipated to be finalized in late summer.