In this week's Pastor's Pen (available here), Shiloh Baptist Church reports having raised $157,300.00 towards its "Take the Signs Down Campaign." The church reports that "[t]hese funds will be used to pay the fees associated with completing the work required by the District of Columbia Government to remove the condemnation signs on a total of six properties," including 1526, 1528, 1532 and 1534 9th Street, and 1543 and 1600 8th Street. The church will also perform work on 1536 9th Street "to be proactive"; there is no mention of whether the church will be proactive regarding its vacant property at 1533 9th Street. In total, the church expects that all of the work should not exceed $100,000. Of note, the Pastor's Pen states that "this is only a temporary step on a long road, but God has abundantly blessed us thus far. We recognize that the ultimate goal is to redevelop the properties into habitable units."
In this past Sunday's The Shiloh Spirit (.pdf file), the Shiloh Trustee Board states that the debt for rebuilding the sanctuary has been lowered to approximately $7 million. This is apparently down from $13 million, as the Board explains that the projected total cost for constructing the new sanctuary was ahout $10 million, but that costs escalated to more than $13 million by the sanctuary's 1998 completion. Is the Board foreshadowing that construction costs related to the vacant properties--either now or down the "long road" that we're apparently preparing to travel--will be far more expensive than anticipated?
I reiterate that if I were a Shiloh parishioner, I would seriously consider diverting my tithes to an organization less focused on real property and more focused on lives.