The Southern Baptist church where Annie Armstrong was baptized is at risk of being evicted, according to an investigative story by the Baltimore Sun.
Seventh Metro Church in Baltimore, formerly known as Seventh Baptist Church, wound up in tax auction over $6,000 in unpaid water bills. A California investor who bought the debt is now seeking to foreclose on the property assessed at $1.4 million with plans to rent or sell it to a pastor who will fill the pews.
“We are in a rare position where we have the building without the members,” churchgoer Sterlin Miller said in a video sidebar. “I don’t think that it’s God’s will that someone else would come in and occupy this space and not be connected with the community that it serves.”
Founded in 1845, Seventh Baptist Church in its heyday boasted some 2,000 members. By the time current pastor Ryan Palmer came along in 2003, the congregation had dwindled to 17 souls, prompting a relaunch as Seventh Metro the Sunday before the Southern Baptist Convention met in Baltimore in 2014.
Palmer’s mentor, Louisiana pastor Fred Luter, preached the service as one of the last sermons of his term as Southern Baptist Convention president. A team of 44 students from Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary put on a block party that drew about 700 people from the downtown Baltimore area as part of Crossover, an annual evangelistic event held the weekend prior to the SBC annual meeting in host cities since 1989.
Now, according to the article, time is running out for the struggling congregation to come up with the money to pay off the debt, plus interest and the investor’s legal fees, or get out of the building.
“It’s not the ninth hour,” Palmer told the congregation in a recent sermon. “It’s the eleventh hour.”
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SOURCE Baptist News Global