The year 2005 saw tremendous growth for Gospel Outreach as the number of sponsored evangelists jumped from 1,356 to 2,400. Continued growth brought with it an urgent need for more administrative space. In previous issues of this newsletter, we reported on our search for larger headquarters.
Of the few options available in College Place, Wash., most properties were either too small or had problems with such things as zoning or parking. The only property that met every need on our list was a 21-year-old former commercial laundry building. The 8,856-square-foot building is located on three-fourths of an acre in a prime location.
The property, appraised at $490,000, had been on the market for a year and a half. The seller was asking $425,000.
After prayerful consideration, we offered $325,000. The seller rejected this offer. Several weeks of negotiations led to a final price of $350,000. This price included the land, building and a large amount of personal property.
It would take pages to recount all of the amazing providences that accompanied our decision to go ahead with this purchase, but I must tell you a few highlights.
We approached two banks for a loan of $375,000. In our situation, we had nothing to put down. The banks were asked to loan the entire amount. There would be no guaranties. Both banks agreed to loan the money to us.
The final terms were:
- No down payment
- No guaranty
- No penalty for prepayment of principal
- Twenty-year payout term
- Prime interest rate plus 0.8 percent
We eventually borrowed $200,000 on those terms.
The sale was finalized on November 21, 2005. Renovation of the existing office space (1,500 square feet) and the inside construction of an additional 2,500 square feet was completed on December 15. Another 1,500 square feet of office space can be easily added. Most of the labor was done by volunteers. Discounts were obtained on most of the items purchased.
We asked the bank for a 20-year payout on the loan. The Lord took care of it in 40 days!
By Christmas we were up and functioning in the new building. Between November 21 and the end of 2005, money came to us to completely pay off the entire mortgage! We had no idea this could happen. On January 2, this property was dedicated debt-free to the Lord’s service.
We want you, the faithful supporters of Gospel Outreach, to know that all of the money used to pay for this project was donated specifically for it. We did not use one penny of evangelistic donations to pay off the loan.
It is impossible for us to tell you the overwhelming gratitude and relief our volunteer administrative staff feels. Perhaps just a brief reflection will indicate our human uncertainty about this major step in our history. We asked the bank for a 20-year payout on the loan. The Lord took care of it in 40 days! All praise and glory to His name.
And we wish to thank each of you who have had a part in making this office space available. We simply love it. I am reminded of the early American song that goes, “And when we find ourselves in a place just right, it will be the land of love and delight.”