Joseph Prince’s church, New Creation Church in Singapore, has just purchased the entire mall in which the church sits. Without a concerted fundraising effort, the 31,000-member church was able to pay $296 million for StarVista—the mall in which the church holds its services.
New Creation Church said the purchase was made “to protect the interest of the church.” The mall’s previous owner, a real estate development company called CapitaLand, indicated they were going to put the mall for sale. Upon learning this, the leadership of New Creation decided it was in the church’s best interest to purchase the property.
The Financial Prowess of New Creation Church
According to the Straits Times, New Creation has owned the 5,000 seat Star Performing Arts Centre (PAC) located inside StarVista since it was allowed to build, lease, and operate the space in 2007. That project cost the church $500 million, which it finally paid off—mostly through contributions from members—in 2016. That fundraising drive made headlines in 2008 when the church managed to raise a record-setting $18 million in a single day. The church held similar single-day drives in 2009 and 2010, raising an unprecedented $18.8 million and $21.1 million, respectively.
The church told the Straits Times that they will not hold a fundraising drive for this most recent purchase. In fact, the church has the money on hand.
New Creation holds services at the PAC inside the StarVista mall. This is the location from which Prince preaches. Since the StarVista location can’t seat the entire congregation (real estate in Singapore is among the most expensive in the world), his messages are simulcast to two other locations: the Marina Bay Sands Ballrooms and Cathay Cineplex at Causeway Point.
In addition to holding services on Sundays, the church also rents out PAC for performances. Some of the artists renting the space are very famous, the likes of which have included Ed Sheeran, who’s recently concluded “The Divide Tour” grossed over $600 million over the course of two years.
The church’s business arm, Rock Productions, manages the rental of the PAC and it also handled the deal to buy StarVista from CapitaLand. The church is planning to keep the mall as it is for now, with retail shops, restaurants, and convenience stores on the three levels below the PAC. (The entire property consists of 11 levels with the church owning levels 3 through 11.) New Creation is also considering the possibility of having CapitaLand continue to manage the commercial levels of the property.
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Source: Church Leaders