Trustees of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) have voted unanimously to recommend a proposal for what is being called an “exchange of keys” with Baptist Health.
If approved in November by messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, SBOM ministry offices and staff would complete relocation by Jan. 1, 2018 — without any indebtedness — to a new building in Prattville to be built for SBOM by Baptist Health. Included would be just under four acres of land at the new location.
Once construction of the new SBOM facility is complete, the two Baptist organizations would essentially exchange keys.
The proposal for the relocation includes Baptist Health taking possession of the current SBOM facility, located at the corner of Narrow Lane Road and East South Boulevard in Montgomery — immediately next door to Baptist Medical Center South.
“The exchange of keys and property would happen so that no funds are exchanged,” according to Bobby DuBois, SBOM’s chief financial officer and associate executive director. “Since 2008 the SBOM has been debt-free and is committed to remaining as such for the future.”
SBOM leaders have been reviewing ways to move the Baptist Building to the Prattville area for almost a decade.
State convention messengers approved the first steps toward that end in 2007, and several ideas have been considered through the years.
As recent discussions developed, it was learned that Baptist Health owned acreage facing Alabama Highway 14, just off Interstate 65, exit 181, in Prattville.
SBOM and Baptist Health officials agreed that Baptist Health would construct a building to SBOM specifications on part of the acreage.
SBOM Executive Director Rick Lance said, “The proposal would position missions personnel and resources closer to the geographic center of the state. This would provide more accessibility for Alabama Baptists to utilize their State Board of Missions facility as a Great Commission Ministries Resource Center.”
The size of the new SBOM building would be 39,900 square feet versus the present Baptist Building’s 87,500 square feet.
DuBois said, “This is in line with the right-sizing of our staff that has been underway since the arrival in 1998 of Dr. Lance as our executive director. After Dr. Lance joined the staff, our full-time
employee count was 121. Today we have 67 full-time employees.”
SBOM leaders also noted in the original requests to seek to move that the current building is in a declining neighborhood and security had become a matter of concern.
A new facility would likely have fewer maintenance issues and lower utility costs, DuBois added.
DuBois also noted that the value of the proposed building and acreage is in line with the appraised value — $7.6 million — of the current Baptist Building.
The Baptist Health Board recently approved the proposal after several weeks of meetings to develop details, DuBois said.
Prior to the affirmation of the proposal by SBOM trustees, it also was recommended by the executive committee and properties sub-committee.
The proposal will be presented for consideration to state convention messengers Nov. 15–16 at Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery. If messengers approve, construction on the new SBOM facility would begin by Nov. 30. (SBOM, TAB)