The Need for a Church Building in St. Louis
Pastor Kenneth “Coach Kenny” Haynes has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years. Two years ago, he founded Impact Agape Ministries, an independent, ethnically-diverse congregation, motivated by practical Biblical teaching mixed with concrete action.
Haynes teaches people how to have a successful life on earth while reaching out to their neighbors. He says, “As a not-for-profit, we don’t pay taxes. That makes it our job to put resources back into the community.”
And that’s precisely what Impact Agape Ministries has been doing for the past two years of its existence. Haynes and congregants spend time in their neighborhoods asking people what sort of help they need, then finding ways to serve.
In the future, they hope to offer classes on money management, marriage, and parenting. They have plans to provide training for young people after school, as well as creating a place of connection for seniors during the day.
Impact Agape Ministries just needed a home base from which to operate.
Looking for a Community to Serve
As a new church, finding places to meet wasn’t always easy. As the congregation grew, Haynes felt uncomfortable meeting in a variety of buildings. However, as a community-focused ministry, they needed to find a place to put down roots.
Fiscally conservative, Haynes was careful to build up the church’s financial reserves from the beginning. But even with a substantial bank account, all churches under five years old are considered a credit risk by most financial institutions.
About a year ago, when Haynes found a building to lease, he convinced the owners of his credit-worthiness by paying six months’ rent upfront. However, Haynes wanted the church to own a space they could settle into, modify, and perfect for their purposes.
It was time for Haynes to find a permanent home for Impact Agape Ministries and their congregation.
Haynes’s wife, Sandy Haynes, is a real estate broker for Old Orchard Realty. Together, they began looking for a place that would support their vision for the future. They looked at several buildings—some churches, some not. Some were too far from the neighbors they hoped to serve. Some were out of reach financially. Others didn’t have enough space for the planned-for outreach programs.
One day, while browsing online listings, the Haynes’s saw a former Catholic church in The Spanish Lake area. The Archdiocese of St. Louis had listed it with Hal Ball and Peter Newton of Hilliker Corporation along with Linda Jones of Linda M. Walsh Real Estate.
The price and location were in line with their concept for the ministry. They called Ball to learn more.
A Corridor of Community Institutions
The congregation of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Spanish Lake had consolidated to another church in 2017. But even though they were absent for more than a year, the building they had inhabited remained beautifully maintained.
At 10,000 square feet and sitting on 7.5 acres, it’s surrounded by other community institutions: Christ Light of Nation Elementary School, Twillman Elementary, and Trinity Catholic High School.
The building does not have a basement, so there was limited room in the building for their classrooms. However, they thought they could remodel the on-campus rectory for that purpose.
Ball and Newton worked hard to negotiate a mutually appropriate price. Impact Agape just needed to find financing, though doing so for a new ministry is difficult.
Most lenders asked for 25% down simply because Impact Agape wasn’t yet five years old. Though the church had a rock-solid bank account, that down payment was more than they had available.
Eventually, they found a financial partner with the help of Sharon Gladney, owner and operator of Midwestern Development Group, LLC. Gladney, a congregation member, was able to attain pre-approval for the finances needed. The lender was impressed by the church’s consistent membership and financial records.
The UCC was impressed by the church’s consistent membership and financial record. To build up the down payment, the congregation stopped paying rent by moving to The Twillman House Community Center. The congregation continued to give generously to cover the remainder of the down payment.
A Fresh Start for Impact Agape Ministries
Impact Agape Ministries was able to move into the new building on closing day.
The building will require some work to get it perfect for the future. But with a congregation happy to serve their new neighborhood together, everyone is ready to help the church succeed.
St. Louis Institutions—are you looking for a new home?
Hilliker Corporation is in the business of making St. Louis a kind and compassionate place, partnering with:
- Congregations across all creeds.
- Residential care facilities.
Whatever your current situation, Hilliker brokers want to work with you. We want to help you cut across red tape. In the end, we hope to negotiate a deal that makes sense for you, those you serve, and the donors who believe in what you’re doing.
If you’re ready to buy or lease a new church building—or an institutional building of any kind—set up an appointment with one of our brokers today.