Washington Cathedral in Redmond is being forced to sell their property, according to a recent post on their blog.
"We had come to the point in our negotiations with our lenders that they were leaving us no other option than to sell our properties and buildings," Pastor Tim White reportedly told the congregation earlier this month.
According to their blog, the official statement from the church is:
“Washington Cathedral is being forced by our lenders to sell our property. The good news is the church is not now nor ever has been the buildings. And our property is worth significantly more than we owe. So we are headed on a new messy adventure. However, we know that all things work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. This is Christ’s church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.” The Pastoral Staff
The church currently owes $14.6 million on the property, which includes a pool and community center, according to the blog. The payments are about $70,000 per month, an amount "way above our capacity to pay at this time," the post said.
Officials said they had been working with lenders for over a year to try to renegotiate the terms of their loans to reduce those payments, to no avail. Their money woes go back to at least 2011, when the church was under pressure to raise $3.8 million to pay off a balloon payment loan, KOMO news reported.
"The good news is that our property is much more valuable than the amount we owe and when we sell the property we should be able to pay off all our loans and still have a good nest-egg to reinvest in relocating. God has been so good to us and I feel he will help us find the right buyer for this property. With the current zoning it will more than likely be some kind of non-profit or a school."
Although they said the news was shocking to many of the members of the church, officials said online they are calling it a new opportunity rather than a setback.
"The church is not the buildings, the church is a family and families are made up of people," Pastor White said.
"All the ministries of Washington Cathedral will continue on for generations because that is the kind of commitment that we have from the church family of Washington Cathedral," the blog post said.
Washington Cathedral was founded nearly 30 years ago when Tim White and his wife Jackie moved from Eastern Washington to the Redmond area. The church began with meetings in their home. Washington Cathedral is described on their website as being in the tradition of mainline Christianity, as taught in the Holy Scriptures and handed down by the historic church.
Patch will update this story as we receive more information. Are you a member of Washington Cathedral? What do you think of this news? Tell us in comments.