The Memorial Christian Church building located on the corner of Andrews Highway and Cuthbert Avenue has been sold under a unique transaction that will benefit the community for years to come.
Since the Church was formed in 1954, the members of Memorial Christian Church have been active in ministering to the Midland community. During 2014, discussions began on how the increasing costs of maintaining and supporting the church facility and grounds were starting to take away from the resources needed to focus on ministering to people and the community. After months of discernment and prayer, the church felt that God was leading them to take a bold step in making a difference for the long-term.
In December 2015, the congregation voted to cease operations and make the church property available for sale, utilizing those proceeds to establish an endowment fund to benefit faith-based organizations in Midland. After holding their last Worship service in April of 2016, the congregation enlisted Permian Basin Area Foundation to assist in making their dream come true. The church property was subsequently transferred to the Foundation’s supporting organization, West Texas Heritage Holdings, Inc., to begin the process for marketing the property. With the sale of the property being finalized on August 24, 2018, the proceeds were used to establish the Memorial Christian Church Legacy Fund at the Foundation.
“The sale of the church property was certainly a bittersweet chapter in the life of our congregation,” according to Gregg Groves, a long-time member of the church. “Many in the MCC family have been together for years, sharing in life events, ministering to others and creating wonderful memories. Yet we are thrilled that the MCC Legacy fund will now be able to touch the lives of many in our community, sharing the love of God and Jesus Christ.”
The leaders of Memorial’s long time Food Pantry were also able to partner with sister congregation First Christian Church of Midland to transfer operations of the Pantry to the First Christian facility. The newly renamed “Disciples Food Pantry” continues to provide food to hundreds of Midlanders each month. “The members of First Christian enthusiastically supported hosting the Food Pantry,” continues Groves, “and they have warmly received many of the MCC members into their church family. It is a blessing to be reminded that ministries can be successful no matter where they are located.”
The ultimate and mutual goal of all parties is to extend the legacy of the Church through charitable grants from the Endowment. Beginning in 2019, Permian Basin Area Foundation will make grants to designated nonprofit organizations that demonstrate the ideals of Christian ministry through programs and services in Midland, Texas.
Through West Texas Heritage Holdings, Permian Basin Area Foundation has the ability to accept non-traditional gifts, such as real estate to be liquidated with proceeds to continue the charitable wishes of donors. Other types of assets WTHH can accept include beneficiary trusts, personal property such as works of art or collectibles, and oil and gas interests. WTHH was created to help donors make innovative gifts using non-traditional assets, often providing far greater tax benefits than if the donor were to sell the asset and then donate the proceeds to charity.
While closing one chapter can be difficult, the benefit of a legacy fund with Permian Basin Area Foundation maintains in perpetuity the impact and memories of Memorial Christian Church.