First Baptist to sell its longtime downtown property

Oct. 5—HIGH POINT — First Baptist Church of High Point plans to move from its longtime location and sell its downtown property.

David Williams, church moderator, said the congregation voted unanimously to relocate from 405 N. Main St. because the campus — which is about 80,000 square feet of building space spread over about 3 1/2 acres — is larger than they need.

"It is unwieldy from the standpoint of keeping things up. It's just a large facility for the number of parishioners we have," Williams said. "Since COVID, there have been huge changes that have happened in the way people church. We've got a strong congregation of a very loyal, wonderful community of believers, and we have no intention of changing our mission or losing our passion as we take this bold leap of faith into the future. This decision is the product of two or three years of careful consideration, and it's something we've really poured our heart and soul into. It's not something we take lightly."

Founded in 1825, the church has had a presence on N. Main Street since the 1940s. In addition to its sanctuary, it grew over the years to include a gymnasium, commercial kitchen and annex building.

The church parking lot is heavily used, given its location directly across the street from Truist Point stadium and the new Stock and Grain Assembly food hall.

Williams said the church doesn't charge for parking but does accept donations that it gives to Open Door Ministries.

"We've been very instrumental downtown in supplying a place for events with our facilities," Williams said.

The church hasn't selected a new location yet, he said, but plans to stay in High Point. He said the church is financially sound and there's no time frame for finding a new home. He expects it to take several months and possibly up to a year to finalize a move.

Williams said the congregation hopes that the campus will be repurposed in a way that complements the growth of the downtown catalyst district.

No specific proposals or potential buyers of the property are on the table at this time.

The property isn't officially listed for sale, although Williams said the church "would entertain offers through brokers or other individuals who would like to bring offers forward."

The church property, which comprises three parcels, has a total Guilford County tax value of $10.3 million.