VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/22/13)—The 588 Associates Real Estate Council met October 16 and 17 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to launch a study that will deliver a recommendation regarding the future location of the American Baptist Mission Center and disposition of the King of Prussia property. The two to three year study will seek a solution that serves to strengthen the ministry of American Baptist Churches USA. The current office space is over fifty years old and no longer meets the needs of its American Baptist occupants. Council members agreed that retention of current staff is a high priority, so a local site is important.
Under the leadership of Louis Barbarin, executive director of the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board and Michaele Birdsall, deputy executive director of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Council members worked on refining the charter and schedule which will guide their work together. They expect to meet quarterly over the next two to three years. Barbarin stated that the Transformed by the Spirit initiative will strongly influence decisions regarding the Council’s work.
The 588 Associates Real Estate Council is made up of representatives of the 588 Associates, LLP (ABCUSA/Board of General Ministries, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board, and the Board of International Ministries), who share ownership of the Mission Center property, together with representatives from American Baptist Extension Corporation, American Baptist Computer Center, American Baptist Women’s Ministries, American Baptist Ministers Council, and the American Baptist Foundation. CSG Urban Partners of Washington, D.C. is consulting with the Council for the duration of the project.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.