Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church calls the congregation to meet on Sunday, May 13, 2018, in the sanctuary immediately following the 11:00 worship service for the purpose of answering the question, “Is God calling the congregation of Ridglea Presbyterian Church to authorize its trustees to sign and close the contract for purchase of real estate submitted by MDJ Partners, LLC?”
A detailed executive summary is being sent via US mail to all RPC households, and copies will be available in the church office. In addition, the session has prepared a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” below. As always, if you have additional questions that aren’t answered here, please feel free to speak with any member of the session.
Your servants in Christ,
|The Session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church|
|Nancy Marchant||John Godwin||Blythe Lee|
|Ken Kibler||Martin Cleworth||Marsha West|
|Cary Dorman||Marsha Dueease||Bill Long|
|Susan Maxwell||Ivey Ramsey||Will Stallworth|
|Tom Sisolak||Lynne Payne|
|Brett Wyatt||Jerry Rottler|
|Rev. Ryan Baer, Moderator Karen Landon, Clerk|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes this contract different than the previous one with MDJ Partners?
A: MDJ Partners notified us late last year that the plans they originally submitted to the City of Fort Worth called for two tenants on the lot; however, the city notified MDJ that there was only sufficient room on the lot for one. Consequently, MDJ notified us that their projected return on their investment was insufficient to close the contract at the previously negotiated price. In the months since, the Property Negotiating Team has met with other interested buyers, but when taking all factors into consideration, MDJ Partners’ offer remains the best one available for the church. Under this new contract, MDJ will deposit significant funds in non-refundable earnest money. Because MDJ has already completed their inspections of the property, the contract only has a ten day inspection period, and MDJ has indicated they will be ready to close very shortly after the inspection period is completed. As in the previous contract, the terms allow a period of months after closing for the church to vacate the building, as well as a lease-back option if necessary. As in previous contracts, RPC is allowed to retain possession of furnishings, musical instruments, stained glass, and the like.
Q: What does the prospective buyer plan to do with the building?
A: The buyer’s plans are to demolish the existing structure and replace it with retail and/or office space. We do not anticipate a negative reaction from neighborhood groups as when a gas station was planned for the site.
Q: If we sell, where will we go?
A: At present, we have an approved contract to purchase the site of the former Bethel United Methodist Church at 5000 Southwest Boulevard, about two miles southwest of the church’s current location. The terms of the sale contract with MDJ and our purchase contract for 5000 Southwest Boulevard will allow the church to complete the purchase of the new location, make renovations to it as necessary, and complete the relocation process, all without incurring any debt or expending cash reserves.
Q: Several people have asked me if the church is closing. Is this true?
A: No. The church remains strong and committed to the work of Jesus Christ in Fort Worth and beyond, whether we carry out that work in our present facility or in a new location. Our financial position remains strong, and there are no plans to close the church or dissolve the congregation.
Q: Why are we having a congregational meeting on Mothers’ Day?
A: The Book of Order requires that the presbytery approve all real estate transactions. The next stated meeting of Grace Presbytery is Saturday, May 19, and the next one isn’t until October 6. Because of the approvals needed and the quirks of the calendar, the only Sunday available for this meeting is May 13.
Q: Who will moderate this meeting?
A: Our pastor, Rev. Ryan Baer, is graduating from the Doctor of Ministry program at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago on May 12, and the Baer family will be traveling on May 13. The Book of Order allows the installed pastor to invite another Minister of Word and Sacrament of the presbytery to moderate a congregational meeting if necessary. Rev. Baer has invited the Rev. Michael Waschevski, Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth, to moderate, and he has graciously accepted.
Q: I can’t be there on May 13. Can I vote by proxy?
A: Per the terms of our congregational bylaws, voting by proxy is not allowed.
Q: How will the vote be taken?
A: The vote will be taken by secret paper ballot. Any active member in good standing is eligible to cast a vote, and tellers will check every ballot against the active membership roll. If you have questions about the status of your membership, please contact Karen Landon, Clerk of Session.