The Rev. Tony Scott and his wife, Shirley Ann, celebrated their 30th year as co-pastors of Cathedral of Praise this weekend by announcing that the church is buying the $12 million, 120,000-square-foot former corporate headquarters of Aeroquip-Vickers Inc.
Pastor Scott said the congregation will move into its new facility by Easter.
"I'm overwhelmed at the generosity of God to us," Mr. Scott said yesterday. "You pinch yourself and say, 'Why does anybody deserve something like this?' We're no more deserving than anyone else. But then again, after 30 years you hope you've sown enough seeds that God will bless your ministry."
He said Cathedral of Praise will sell its current facility, which is on 32 acres straddling Alexis Road just west of Whiteford Road.
The sprawling Strayer Road complex, on 57 acres in Monclova Township, has a series of interconnected, low-profile buildings with many floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
The headquarters was built in 1989 by the former Trinova Corp., later renamed Aeroquip-Vickers, and has been vacant since the firm was acquired by Eaton Corp. three years ago, said Marty Gallagher of Michael Realty. Mr. Gallagher, who spent 15 months helping the Scotts find a suitable site, said he believes the facility will be "a perfect fit."
Pastor Scott said the property is worth $12 million "but we got it for a lot less than that." He said a contract was signed Wednesday, but he could not release more financial details until after closing on the property.
Cathedral of Praise plans to retrofit the buildings to include a sanctuary that will double its present 900-seat capacity, Pastor Scott said.
The church averages about 1,300 attendance at its two Sunday morning services.
Ambitious plans for the new campus, which will be called the Cathedral of Praise World Ministry Center, include a training facility for pastors, a holistic medicine and health center, an assisted living complex, and a TV studio to film Pastor Scott's weekly program, Power for Living, which is broadcast by satellite to all 50 U.S. states and Canada.
"I'm looking at the excitement of a brand-new challenge and starting some brand-new ministries that will benefit the community. We've always been a community-minded church," said Pastor Scott, 59.
The ministry training center will recruit students from around the world.
"We now have a training school but we will enlarge that, and we will bring kids in on scholarship. We also will bring in a head pastor to train the ministers so they can go out and start new churches," he said.
Pastor Scott said he isn't worried about the church meeting its new mortgage obligation.
"We're mostly a debt-free ministry," he said. "We're not a wealthy ministry, but we'll certainly be able to handle the monthly payment."
The design of the Strayer Road complex was influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie-style architecture, with subdued, natural colors used throughout the building. A highlight is an open, three-story lobby that soars to a peak of 75 feet.
The Scotts led the building project for their church's present facility at 5225 West Alexis Rd., which was built in 1983 for $1.6 million. Prior to that, the church was known as Sylvania Church of God and was at 5242 McGregor Lane.
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