Covenant Member Gathering

Covenant Member Gathering

Sunday, February 25

What You Shared

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As shared at our previous gathering on February 4, our Elder Board is thoughtfully considering the sale of part of our North parking lot. The heart behind this follow-up gathering on February 25 was to provide another opportunity for members to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the potential sale while the Elders simply listened. At the gathering, a wide range of thoughtful and heartfelt perspectives were shared. Some expressed excitement for who God might want to bring to our area and what ministry He might be calling us to in response. Others shared concerns about having enough accessible parking and lack of clarity over how the potential funds from a sale might be used. The Elders are grateful to everyone who has shared their thoughts. They have a detailed list of questions that were asked at the February 25 gathering and have provided an extended Q&A addressing those questions below.

If you would like to share your thoughts or have questions, we encourage you to reach out to the Elders at questions@fellowshipdallas.org

Updated FAQs

Q. How does selling the property glorify God?

A. We believe God can be glorified by our willingness to mobilize an idle resource to further the Father’s mission for Fellowship Dallas. More specifically, He can be glorified through our willingness to take what He has given and use it to help fund the spread of the Gospel in Dallas and with our ministry partners across the world. The maintenance and support of our current property (located in a strategic area of Dallas) serves as a launching ground as we reach our community for Christ – this is something we hope to do much more of in the near future.

Q. Who are the developers? What type of apartments are being proposed? What will stop them from developing whatever they want once the property is sold?

A. Generation Housing Partners, LLC (GHP) is the buyer interested in purchasing the property. GHP has been in business since 2002 and has developed numerous multifamily properties around Texas.

Upon receiving three great offers in December of 2023, the Elders found GHP to be the best fit. The Elders toured a development in South Dallas and were impressed by the quality of the construction as well as a willingness by GHP leadership to partner with Fellowship to ensure mutual needs could be met. This includes one or two units available for use by the church and a secured corridor/walkway to access DART. GHP’s South Dallas development is partnering with a magnet school to help reach kids in the apartments and surrounding area.

To receive tax credits from the state for this purchase, GHP must hold the property for fifteen (15) years, which means they cannot purchase the property, then turn around and sell it to another group prior to that 15-year mark.

The proposed development is described as “a 162‐unit, Class ‘A’, multi‐family community for families, young professionals, and the workforce of North Dallas”. The rendering below is an early conceptual design of a similar property.

Q. Why are we not just adding green space?

A. Green space is a great idea and has certainly been discussed along with other ideas like a school or community center. Each of these ideas requires funds beyond our current giving levels to make happen. We believe that we should continue to consider all options including how to make these sorts of ideas possible.

Q. What are we going to do with the money?

A. There is no specific plan in place, however there are certain guiding principles.

  1. We do not want these proceeds to go towards general operating expenses.
  2. We are examining “kingdom priorities” which are intended to expand existing ministries at the church and beyond, and/or launch new ones.
  3. There have been suggestions for an endowment which would provide an interest income from the proceeds.
  4. There are certain capital expenditures which may need attention (Air conditioner, roof repair/replace, etc.).
Q. Have you researched the parking requirements for a church in Dallas? I can’t park in the garage, where am I going to park?

A. Yes. The city of Dallas requires a 4:1 ratio of seats to parking spots. If we sell the property and lose a portion of our north parking lot, we are still left with plenty of parking that exceeds the city’s requirements. The numbers below represent the approximate number of spots that will remain.

  • 432 – Garage
  • +/- 121 – North lot (restriped and possibly re-configured)
  • 47 – North adjacent
  • 81 – South adjacent
  • 37 – West adjacent
  • 718 – Total

Using a conservative 2:1 ratio, we would need approximately 613 spaces. Therefore, a total of 718 spots exceeds our current needs. If we see growth (God willing!) we will add back a second service to increase our parking capacity. The numbers above do not include a possible easement that could permit the church to also use the parking lot behind Total Wine to supplement our 718 remaining parking spots.

A structural engineer and an architect were hired to inspect the garage. While the garage is 35 years old and has some tight corners, each expert reported that it is completely structurally sound and shows no signs of stress or instability. Since the parking garage can be difficult for our older members of the body, we would likely add more limited mobility spots around the building and ask those without mobility challenges to utilize the garage.

Other churches around Dallas experience much more severe parking challenges than we would even after selling a portion of our parking lot. Watermark Church, for example, has a much more limited parking situation and it has not been a deterrent for their congregation.

Q. Will we have a unit in the apartments to host people? Could someone live there as a chaplain?

A. As we work with the buyer, we have the right to ask for some concessions in a covenant agreement. An apartment set apart for the church’s use was suggested as part of the agreement, and the buyer did not react as if it was an unreasonable request. 


Q. How do we keep up our current property?

A. A portion of our annual budget helps address general upkeep of the property; however, the Elders have some options when it comes to paying for larger capital expenditures like Fire panels, AC units, chillers, etc. We can use funds from our cash account (savings) or use our line of credit. As our property ages, the potential of these expenses rises. Our operations and facilities staff has done an excellent job of providing a list of low, medium, and high priority items that need to be addressed. Of the $1.2M of possible expenditures, $600K are considered high priority and could impact the budget within the next 0 – 6 months.

Q. Have you considered a proposal to sell the entire land?

A. Yes, we have looked at what we believe to be all options. Selling part of the land, selling all the land and not selling any of the land and the impacts that these scenarios would have on our church body. Another major consideration is the cost of substantial capital expenditures that our operations and facilities teams have been tracking. With the choice to remain in our current facility (coming as a result of much prayer and work with multiple folks in our body), we have been operating with that as a priority. That said, we remain open to all options as we discern the best path forward for Fellowship.

Q. What is the answer for these current building expenses? A fundraising campaign?

A. We have 3 approaches in mind to properly steward our wonderful and multi-faceted church facility.

  1. First, we are using our facility for weekday event rentals on a regular basis. We’re in a good location and we’ve seen solid returns as we’ve worked to leverage it for short-term rentals more consistently. Check out the Facility Rentals section of our website for more details.
  2. Second, we’re working to improve the way we communicate about needs and opportunities to financially support the ministry of the Gospel at Fellowship Bible Church Dallas. Several passionate givers and finance professionals in the congregation are working with our operations team to form the Generosity Ministry Leadership Team this spring. This team will look to connect members of our church body with the Fellowship ministry areas they are most excited to commit time and treasure towards. More exciting news coming soon!
  3. Third, we are considering a capital campaign for our larger, one-time expenses. HVAC, Worship Center A/V and other enhancements, and elevator renovations, for example, are all needs we can lift to the Lord together and see how He moves to provide.
Q. What plan did the elders have for the money? What is the money going to be used for?

A. When we received the three offers on the property, there was no pre-determined plan for use of the funds. As noted above, Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) items are an ongoing pressure, however we do not intend to utilize the funds on CAPEX or general operating expenses unless necessary. An endowment or other investment vehicles have been considered to produce an ongoing return on a portion of the sales proceeds without dipping into the original investment. For example, 4-5M invested could produce 200K to 300K in annual returns. These funds could be used to help with intentional ministry opportunities and/or large, unexpected capital expenditures.

Additionally, the elders feel a strong responsibility not to undercut our general giving which is necessary to continue operating our ministries. It is important that we properly shepherd the body to give as a spiritual act of worship and not take an influx of cash as a way to opt-out of giving as God would have them.


Q. What is the urgency to sign by April?

A. Our initial, contingent sale agreement with the land developer, Generation Housing Partners, sets the end of April as the expiration of the contingency period during which the church can terminate the agreement in its sole and absolute discretion. This was a deadline they wanted to work towards for their hoped-for construction schedule. The elder board has complete freedom to extend this deadline if we do not have clarity from the Lord by then, or back out of the agreement entirely if God is leading us in another direction.

Q. What is our plan and what is the exact need for the money?

A. Our initial plan was to explore a land sale in case we needed additional funds to complete the transition from Kurt’s departure to the leadership model we have now, including a Senior Leadership Team comprised of elders and staff leaders and a teaching team led by Dr. Tim. It’s normal for churches to see a solid downturn in giving during a leadership transition. Thankfully, our giving didn’t dip as much as is typical (thank you Lord!), and we were able to lean out our budget to better align with giving. However, because we had started to explore a sale the elders agreed we would continue to seek the Lord with it, to see if He would reveal another ministry-use for the proceeds.

While we’ve reduced our operating budget by 15% for the ’23-’24 fiscal year, capital expenditures on an aging building and its operating costs remain a steady source of pressure. We are very encouraged by our growing attendance and how our body has responded to the preaching team model, however an influx of revenue from a sale offers some breathing room and an ability to move forward in a less tentative and reactionary manner.

Q. Is this premature without a plan?

A. No and yes. It was not premature to explore a sale with our original plan. It takes a long time (12-18 months) to convert land into usable funds. Yes, after the Lord stabilized our finances (albeit at a lean budget), it would be premature to continue forward unless God leads towards a clear, church vision-aligned use for any sale proceeds.

Q. Do we sell and grow for God‘s glory, or do we not sell and grow for God‘s glory?

A. The Elder Board members have prayed fervently for peace and unity in this decision. While we cannot anticipate total agreement amongst the congregation on any decision of this type, we believe that any decision going forward should produce peace and unity in the body, not division. We believe that peace is found as we obey and follow His leading. That will bring Glory to God.


Q. Will you give more specifics about what you plan to do with the land?

A. Of our current 9.08 acres, +/- 3.6 is currently under contract. An additional .19 acres along the East side of the entire 9.08 acres (including the parking garage) is being considered for a secure walkway from the apartments to access DART services. The development itself will be a 5-story, wrapped structure. This can be described as units arranged around a square structure with amenities inside an atrium. The units will have their own parking and will not be shared with the church. Preliminary plans have two entryways and exits on the West side of the property. A landscaped berm and fence will separate the apartments from the church’s remaining north parking lot.

Q. Please tell us what the future looks like to take care of our current facility.

A. Our property was originally built 35 years ago in 1989. We have owned it since 2004. As it continues to age, the potential of new and potentially unexpected expenses rises. Our operations and facilities staff has done an excellent job of providing a list of low, medium, and high priority items that need to be addressed. Of the $1.2M of possible expenditures, $600K are considered high priority and could impact the budget within the next 0 – 6 months.

Annually, our facility costs approximately $800K annually to operate. While this is a large number, we are making a concerted and successful effort to rent out our space during the week when it remains largely unused. Those revenues help us offset a portion of the facility expenses.

Q. Is this a premature decision, without a clear vision in place?

A. Yes, any significant decision would be premature without a vision. We have a big picture vision of using proceeds and returns from a sale to further Fellowship’s ministry work in the neighborhoods and mission fields the Lord has given us. No, we have not defined that vision more specifically because we have not yet had the opportunity to do so. That is part of this seeking process. But because the land has been idle for such a long time, we have been asking the Lord to show us a more specific vision for its use. More will be shared later about the timing and process for arriving at that vision.

Previously Shared Info & FAQs

Over the years, both previous and current Elder Boards at Fellowship Dallas have deliberated over the potential sale of a portion of our north parking lot. The consistent priority throughout these discussions has always been good stewardship of the assets God has entrusted to us. The AE Sloan process in 2023 highlighted the deep connection our church body feels to our current location, emphasizing the importance of these discussions and any resulting decisions. Currently, the elders are considering the sale of a 3.6 acre portion of the parking lot for the development of a multi-family apartment project. Any sale we consider is contingent upon the approval of proposed site plans, restrictions and features to ensure alignment with our vision, needs and requirements.

Our guiding principle, as we consider this potential sale, is the best interest of Fellowship Dallas and the broader Kingdom. We are thoughtfully reflecting on the parable of the talents (Matthew 5:14-30) and our present opportunities, seeking the Lord’s direction on how to leverage our resources for Kingdom purposes. We invite the entire Fellowship community to join us in prayer over this significant decision, trusting in the Lord’s faithful guidance as we have always done. We are dedicated to wise and prayerful stewardship of the church’s assets while remaining open to God’s leading on how best to support and expand our ministry impact.

Below is a list of FAQs regarding the potential sale. You can provide additional comments, concerns, or questions for the Elders at Questions@FellowshipDallas.org

3.6 Acres of Our North Parking Lot

Property Sale FAQs

Q. The elders are considering selling a portion of our parking lot. Tell me more.

A. The primary focus of any consideration of selling a portion of our parking lot has always been the stewardship of the assets God has provided. Our budget was reduced this fiscal year to be conservative and match reduced attendance and giving from a challenging ’22-’23.  While we’ve seen encouraging signs of incremental growth and are encouraged by potential growth, our giving remains in a place where we have to operate on a tight ministry budget. The AE Sloan consulting process revealed the affinity that many in our church body have to the story God has written in our current, repurposed location, so selling the entire property and/or moving was off the table. As we reviewed our assets and the liquidity of our assets, we prayed that God would give us wisdom about how to stay at our current location and be good stewards of the assets He has given us. We have been asking if the Lord would have us mobilize idle land for the Kingdom, and that process has guided us to this point.

Q. Why would we sell any of our land?

A. Our budget was reduced this fiscal year to be conservative and match reduced attendance and giving from a challenging ’22-’23. While we’ve seen encouraging signs of incremental growth and are encouraged by the potential, our giving has not grown enough to pause consideration of what a sale might do to bless future generations of Fellowship through a more stable ministry fund. Our cash position (our savings) meets the thresholds required in our board policies but is often at risk in the event of an unexpected expense. If we face a large capital maintenance need for the building, our cash position could be reduced to a level that places even more financial pressure. We would rather be focused on having a local and global impact than worrying if an HVAC unit will crash.
The sale of this property would make a portion of our assets usable. These 3.6 acres have been relatively unused since the purchase of the property in 2004. God has blessed us abundantly with this land, and we have been in prayer about how to be good stewards of what He has given us. On our minds continually is the stewardship of our assets and consideration of what God may be up to as we launch into this new season for Fellowship.

Q. What does the buyer want to do with the land?

A. The buyer wants to build a five-story apartment building that offers a portion of the housing to those who qualify for workforce housing and the rest of the housing at market rates. Board approval of the site plan is key for the project and sale to move forward. Paramount is a site plan that works for Fellowship and our interests and allows us to mobilize our body for new and exciting Kingdom impact.

Q. Would a sale change our mission/vision?

A. No. Our mission and vision will remain the same. Our hope as a board is that not only will the revenue from the sale help us better execute our mission and vision, but we will have a brand-new mission field of people as our neighbors. We are excited about the possibilities.

Q. Why an apartment building instead of a more ministry-focused use (school, Christian organization, etc.)?

A. We would have been open to discussing whatever use for the land that God brought our way. When we approached a broker in the spring of 2023, we honestly didn’t know what, if any, offers would come our way. We were testing the market due to the long process of commercial real estate sales. We wanted to be prudent to start the process in a way that allowed enough time in case our financial position didn’t improve. So, when He brought us three lucrative offers, it felt clear. We have been asking God how He would like to use this land and how we can best steward it.

Q. Are there safety concerns with traffic and residents of an apartment building so close to our church?

A. As for traffic, we have been exploring options as to how we can limit the “through” traffic from Greenville to the Best Buy shopping area. The apartments will have a completely separate entrance/exit and will not be using our parking lot to drive through or for overflow parking. Safety is always an important concern and will remain a focus not only for our staff and body, but for the faculty and children who use our facility for school. As a board, we do not foresee any drastically increased safety concerns and even see a positive increase in security due to more trusted eyes on the property. While the garage can feel unsafe, we are considering adding fencing behind the garage and along our southern boundary to increase safety and lower the rates of homeless and others who transit the garage regularly. If not limited by the city code, we may block or gate off the garage entrance from Greenville.

Q. How can I help?

A. Prayers for wisdom and patience. And be passionate in serving with your favorite ministry with the church. It’s what makes us the body of Christ!

Q. This seems to be moving quickly. Why?

A. We understand that it may seem to feel as if this process is moving quickly to the staff and body, but that has never been our intent. Previous Elder Boards as well as the current Elders have considered the sale of a portion of the land for the past nine to ten years. Much of the present-day sense of speed is a product of the real estate process. The board agreed in early 2023 that it would be wise to explore a property sale in case we needed funds for the transition time to the teaching team. That began many months of exploring buyer options with our real estate broker. During this exploration phase we continually sought the Lord and presented all of this to the Father with open hands. This prayer and exploration took all of 2023. In mid-November and early December we received 3 excellent offers. But part of the nature of developers is that buyers seek to meet year-end deadlines to secure tax credits from the city of Dallas. That gave us an unexpected deadline to respond to these offers. With that deadline before us, the elders felt peace about entering into a contingent sale because we have the full freedom to step back from the agreement if God closed the door, or if we felt unease, or if we saw misalignment with the buyers plans. In summary, we began this property consideration during a transition reality, the lengthy process extended through into a more stable reality, and in the meantime, we kept asking the Lord to open or shut the door.

Q. How much of the parking lot has been offered up for sale?

A. The current offer includes 3.6 acres of the north parking lot and represents just under 40% of our 9.08 total acres. The diagram above shows a yellow outline to help explain how much of the property is included in the proposed sale. The blue shaded portion is the proprety that would remain under the ownership of Fellowship Dallas.

Q. Is workforce housing the same as affordable or low-income housing?

A. No, workforce housing serves families at 61%+ of median income. Affordable housing serves families at 60% or less of median income.

Q. How will the revenues be used if the sale closes?

A. No final decisions have been made, but we have a short list of options. We are actively meeting with experts who advise non-profits on large cash influxes and how to steward those funds properly. Rather than focus on general overhead that would deplete these funds unnecessarily, we want to find ways to transform a liquid asset, so we experience exponential impact over time. A small portion may be used to help secure the garage and/or add a fence between Fellowship and the old Bed, Bath, and Beyond property. Classical School of Dallas has asked us to increase security mechanisms to keep their students safe and is willing to partner with us to make that happen. Our cash reserves typically cover large capital expenditures on the building and property.

Q. Will our parking remain separate from the apartment parking?

A. Yes, all parking will remain separate. We will begin to utilize our South parking again along with our garage as we grow. Even at reduced overall parking capacity, we have more than enough for our congregation’s needs.

Q. Is there a way for me to share my input with the elder board?

A. Yes, reach out to any elder you know or email us at Questions@fellowshipdallas.org

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