The non-denominational Watermark Community Church in Texas has purchased a run-down former middle school building that it plans to turn into its newest campus in South Dallas. But some church leaders in the area are upset.
Watermark — which has campuses already in Frisco, Dallas, Fort Worth and Plano — recently purchased the Pearl C. Anderson Middle School building and surrounding land. The school building opened in 1963 but closed in 2012 and has sat vacant for the better part of a decade.
A spokesperson for the church told The Christian Post that the building was purchased at public auction after Watermark members already ministering in South Dallas brought the auction to the attention of church leaders.
The building and nine acres of land located in an area of Dallas that has a predominant minority population were purchased by the evangelical church for $211,000, according to a government document.
The Watermark spokesperson explained that the church followed the Dallas Independent School District’s “standard and customary process for this type of sale.”
The plans for the building have not yet been finalized but church officials say that the new campus will offer midweek services for community development.
According to an online statement released by Watermark, potential community services that could be offered at the new campus include “health care, youth development, job placement, vocational training, financial literacy, and recovery.”
News of the purchase was broken by local media last week before church leaders told Watermark members about the purchase.
In its statement, Watermark said that it planned to tell the church body about the building purchase this past weekend.
“Prayerfully, we are working to renovate the Pearl C. Anderson property in South Dallas to serve the community through a church that offers midweek services for community care and development,” the statement reads.
“Since acquiring the property just three weeks ago, our priority has been to meet with local leaders, residents, and organizations to listen and further understand what services will be most helpful to the community.”
However, some local church leaders and politicians in the community objected to the fact that they had not been contacted by Watermark.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith