The convention's executive director, Randy C. Davis, was authorized to conduct the exploration in a unanimous vote during the executive board's mid-March meeting.
Rich Wallace, a member of First Baptist Church in Sevierville and chairman of the executive board's administrative committee, noted that the board has entertained offers on the property in the past but has not actively pursued offers.
In 2008, the board was approached by developers who agreed to purchase the Baptist Center property for $13.06 million. In March 2009 after a downturn in the economy, the purchaser cancelled the contract.
In December 2010 a subcommittee was appointed by the board to "analyze any proposals that might be presented concerning the sale of the property and to bring those with merit to the Administrative Committee."
Davis emphasized that the recommendation is "driven by stewardship."
When the board first moved to the property 43 years ago, it was what was needed, Davis noted. A conference center building was added to the Brentwood offices in 1989 as it became known as the Baptist Center. The background information provided to executive board members noted that conferencing and training processes now take the TBC into the field much more than they bring others into the building.
The recommendation also asked the executive director to "initiate a study of options for an alternative Baptist Center location and configuration that would include but not be limited to leasing or purchasing, assigning some employees to work primarily in the field, limiting meeting space and other alternative meeting space."
Reported by the Baptist & Reflector, newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
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