ODCS Proposal to Purchase Elyria Campus FAQ

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Proposal Summary

We’d like to thank you for your prayers and participation in this process. Many of you have submitted questions and feedback and we held three town hall meetings where great questions were asked.

Just to review, the details of the purchase proposal are:

  1. $1,000,000 cash paid in ten (10) one hundred thousand dollar ($100,000) installments
  2. The church will not pay any facility expenses for the first 10 years of the agreement., which amounts to about another $1 million.
  3. Beginning in year 11, the church will begin to reimburse the school for a percentage of certain facility expenses such as electric, natural gas and water.
  4. The church will never pay any type of rent to the school.
  5. The church will never share in any capital expenses unless the church decides to renovate or add on to the existing facility.
  6. The church will always and permanently have the ability to operate, do ministry and hold services on the Elyria campus

Announcement manuscript from Pastor Jim Mindling

View the manuscript (PDF Document)

Town Hall Meetings

Wednesday, March 16 | 6:30 pm | Elyria Campus
Tuesday, March 22 | 6:30 pm | Elyria Campus
Sunday, April 3 | 6:30 pm | Elyria Campus

FAQ regarding ODCS purchase of the Elyria Campus

  1. What assurances do we have that the church will always have a home here on the Elyria Campus?
  2. I am a member, but I am not going to be able to attend the May 22nd services to vote, what can I do?
  3. General ministry statement
  4. I’m newer here, I didn’t know there was a school, when was the school launched? How many kids are attending the school?
  5. I’ve never actually been in the school portion of the campus. Could you arrange for tours for those who would like to tour the facilities?
  6. What is the relationship like between the church and the school?
  7. Why does the school need ownership?
  8. What is bringing up the question now?
  9. Does this reflect a financial need on the part of the church?
  10. Who initiated the conversation about the sale?
  11. Why haven’t we heard about this sooner?
  12. Could we sell part of the building?
  13. Could we just sell some of the land?
  14. How are the interests of Open Door protected in this if we don’t own the building?
  15. Would the Elyria Campus continue to exist?
  16. Does the sale reflect a desire to eventually change the location of the Elyria campus? Or, is there a plan to change the location of the Elyria campus?
  17. How will this impact the weekly ministry of Church of the Open Door?
  18. How will it affect Sunday mornings at the Elyria Campus?
  19. Will the school display banners or branding throughout the church areas?
  20. Will Staff offices remain in Elyria?
  21. Does the school currently pay rent?
  22. Would the church have to pay rent?
  23. How will capital expenses like roofs, HVAC and parking lots be handled?
  24. What parts of the school is the church running?
  25. What about our other buildings? Why would we want to sell this facility and not the other buildings?
  26. Isn’t church a building? How can we still have church in a building we don’t own?
  27. What if the school decides they need more space, can they just take over the church’s space?
  28. Isn’t the Elyria Campus worth more than $1 million? While we want to help the school, to only ask for $1 million seems to ignore the church’s long term interests. Is this truly a win-win?
  29. What do we do if the Elyria campus’ growth necessitates the need for more space?

Additional Questions?

1. What assurances do we have that the church will always have a home here on the Elyria Campus?

In this proposal, the overall governance of the school remains the same with the Education Corporate Board providing the governance. This board is made up of the Church Governance Board and Open Door Christan Schools Board. The bylaws now require an Education Corporate Board vote to approve any real estate transaction involving the Elyria Campus property and facilities. The Church Governing Board will always hold a majority position on the Education Corporate Board and the Lead Pastor of Open Door gets to designate two of the max 15 School Board members.

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2. I am a member, but I am not going to be able to attend the May 22nd services to vote, what can I do?

You can pick up an absentee ballot at any campus Sunday May 15th or request one by calling the church office by 12pm on Friday May 20th.

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3. General ministry statement:

45 years ago, Church of the Open Door began the ministry that is Open Door Christian School (ODCS) with the long-term vision of reaching the kids in our church and in our communities for Jesus. It was a vision to disciple and to come alongside parents in raising their kids in a lifetime of seeking Christ. While the church’s mission statement back then was different than it is now, today we would still say it was leading people in the adventure of becoming like Christ. As the school and church have grown in the past decades, the relationship has grown and changed over time. We remain linked by greater ministry mission and vision, and mutually tied by our governance, but the school has grown to represent many communities and over 120 different churches.

And so, the church keeps asking, ‘how do we best support the school and lead it to its next step’? While we mutually desire to maintain our strong relationship, collaboration, and governance, as the school grows this coming year to the largest enrollment in its nearly 5 decade history, the biggest limiting factor to growth is the physical facility. As we’ve evaluated the good stewardship of the campus currently owned by Church of the Open Door, and shared by ODCS, leadership on both sides see the mutual benefit in the school taking ownership of the campus and COD continuing to worship, teach and meet as it always has. The school desires the same and desires to invest further into the property through its committed donors and ongoing efforts; leading to ministry benefit for all!

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4. I’m newer here, I didn’t know there was a school, when was the school launched? How many kids are attending the school?

The school began in 1976 as a ministry of Church of the Open Door to its attenders and remains a ministry of the church nearly 50 years later, but now serves students and families of over 120 local church families. Currently enrollment is 653 students, which is the highest enrollment since 1993 and we are praying and planning to break 700 students this fall.

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5. I’ve never actually been in the school portion of the campus. Could you arrange for tours for those who would like to tour the facilities?

Yes. We are happy to arrange for tours of the school on the nights of the Town Hall Meetings for anyone interested. Those town hall meetings are on Wednesday March 16th, Tuesday March 22nd and Sunday April 3rd all at 6:30pm at the Elyria Campus.

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6. What is the relationship like between the church and the school?

The relationship is strong. We work very well together on day to day items and this transition is about strengthening our future relationship together rather than fixing any current issues. For these reasons, the school is seeking to purchase the property at an affordable price from the church, while also being a financially beneficial arrangement for the church both short and long term.

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7. What is bringing up the question now?

Over the past nine years the school’s strategic focus has been on creating tuition assistance programs that make Christian education attainable and improving instructional quality. Resources have been focused on intervention services and a professional learning program that focuses on instructional delivery. The foundation for education excellence is the teacher, now that this area is stable, future growth and sustained enrollment will be heavily influenced by facility improvements and additions. In order to take the next step, the school desires to address the issue of facilities and physical space. Campus ownership is vital and the school’s desire is to remain a ministry of the church and expand on the current property.

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8. Why does the school need ownership?

The ODCS Board of Education believes that future growth is best positioned with campus ownership as it provides the ability to strategically vision the campus as a school and also creates clarity in sharing our vision with those who partner in the effort. Funding enhancements with large capital expense will best occur when partners can give to the school with confidence that funds raised will be utilized for ODCS programming and sustainability.

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9. Does this reflect a financial need on the part of the church?

No.

This proposal and discussion is based on the needs for the school to take its next steps. However the sale of the building will absolutely free up more funds for general ministry and the mission of Leading People in the Adventure of Becoming like Christ.

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10. Who initiated the conversation about the sale?

Over the years, the church and school have periodically discussed the need for the school to ultimately own property, preferably on the existing campus. The accelerated school growth reopened the conversation.

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11. Why haven’t we heard about this sooner?

We brought this to you as soon as we had all the necessary information to discuss. The Governing Board of Church of the Open Door has unanimously voted to pursue this purchase by the school. This is a major decision and we want to give as much time as possible to discuss the implications and factors. If we do decide to move forward as a congregation, the reason for a sale in June (our fiscal year runs July-June) allows both the church and school to plan the next year’s budgets based on the new ownership structure.

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12. Could we sell part of the building?

No.

This has been a major question from the beginning of these discussions. All of the buildings except for the 800 Building sit on the same parcel of land and share all utilities and infrastructure. To name a few: water, electric, natural gas, fire alarm and suppression systems, stormwater and sanitary sewer and waste treatment tanks. When the first addition for the school was built in 1975-76 continuing to the addition of the RNC with the 200 and 300 wings in the early 1990’s, this location continued to be designed as one building with the combined the ministry purpose of church and school. In looking into this question, it became unfeasible to pursue this path.

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13. Could we just sell some of the land?

It would be possible to only sell some of the land, however, selling only land does not allow for the school to own and manage any of the existing infrastructure that they use in their ministry. The school is working on plans to maximize the potential of all the current resources, not just acquiring land and expanding.

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14. How are the interests of the church protected in this if we don’t own the building?

The interests of the church and school are mutually linked and always will be. From the beginning of the school this building and property have been designed to be occupied by both a church and a school regardless of ownership. While the church would not have the security of ownership, we will have a partner in the school that is now set up to take its next steps into the future. Our security is not found in a building, but is found in the call and mission that God has placed on us.

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15. Would the Elyria Campus continue to exist?

Yes.

The Elyria Campus would continue weekly ministry and Sunday services at this location, as it has since it began ministry at 43275 Telegraph Road in 1969. March 16, 2022 will mark 72 years since The Church of the Open Door filed paperwork with the state of Ohio and became the church that we still steward today based in Elyria, Ohio. There are no plans to leave the city that has been our home. God moved in the hearts of those founders so many years ago with the vision to start The Church of the Open Door and by the grace of God, the doors will remain open in Elyria. “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8

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16. Does the sale reflect a desire to eventually change the location of the Elyria campus?

No.

There are no plans to change the location of the Elyria Campus. With this agreement our goal would be to solidify the future of both the church and the school for generations to come.

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17. How will it impact the weekly ministry of the Elyria Campus?

Hardly at all. During the week there will be a few more shared spaces, however the church will have first priority of use of many or all of the spaces that we currently use.

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18. How will it affect Sunday mornings at the Elyria Campus?

There will be very little, to no impact at all on a Sunday morning.

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19. Will the school display banners or branding throughout the church areas?

The school displays some banners or branding throughout the church building now. On Sunday mornings the church will be the church first. The school has a passionate belief in the local church and Church of the Open Door as the parent of its ministry. As such, there is a joint partnership towards ensuring the church remains the church. Our facility use agreement will ensure this remains the case as well.

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20. Will Staff offices remain in Elyria?

Yes.

There is no part of this discussion that would cause staff offices to relocate from the Elyria Campus.

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21. Does the school currently pay rent?

No.

The school has never paid any rent to Church of the Open Door. The school is a ministry of the church and we operate under a Facility Use Agreement. The school reimburses the church for actual expenses such as, water, electricity, natural gas, trash, and snow removal to name a few.. Some of these are based on percentage of use and others are direct pass through costs. The church currently manages most of the vendor, utility and maintenance contracts for the entire building and property. The school has their own IT contract and custodial services.

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22. Would the church have to pay rent?

No.

We would operate under a similar Facility Use Agreement that will be agreed upon prior to the member vote and purchase. After 10 years, the church will begin to reimburse the school for certain expenses like utilities, but the school will have responsibility for managing vendor, utility and maintenance contracts for the entire building and property.

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23. How will capital expenses like roofs, HVAC and parking lots be handled?

The church will no longer be responsible for these types of expenses. The school will assume the liabilities for all capital expenses. The church would be responsible for any future renovations we might desire.

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24. What parts of the school is the church running?

The church does not run any day to day operations for the school, but the church manages all maintenance and most of the vendor contracts for the entire campus property. The church through the Corporate Education Board oversees the governance of the school. Providing accountability with the same values and beliefs helps ensure an educational system that remains Christ-centered. That oversight will not change in these discussions.

The Corporate Education Board is the combination of the Church of the Open Door Governing Board and the ODCS School Board.

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25. What about our other campus buildings? Why would we want to sell this facility and not the other buildings?

The only reason we are considering selling is because the school has run out of space and has approached us to purchase it. Those circumstances don’t exist at the other campuses.

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26. Isn’t the church a building? How can we still have church in a building we don’t own?

Though many people refer to the building as church, the church is actually made up of people called out of their former lives and set on a mission by God. The word ekklesia, the Greek work which we translate church, means exactly that “called out assembly.” It is a great honor to worship and gather together in a building, but it is not the building that is the church, it is the people of God.

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27. What if the school decides they need more space, can they just take over the church’s space?

No.

Part of the new Facility Use agreement will have defined periods of time that certain spaces are locked down and cannot simply be absorbed by either party due to need. There is great partnership and collaboration that currently exists between the school and church. That would continue.

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28. Isn’t the Elyria Campus worth more than $2 million? While we want to help the school, to only ask for $2 million seems to ignore the church’s long-term interests. Is this truly a win-win?

The value of the purchase to the church is about $2,000,000 in cash and cash equivalents. The cash amount does not reflect the full value of the sale to the church. A part of the agreement is that other than minor custodial, maintenance and a few church specific vendor contracts, the church will not have any facility costs (like utilities and repairs) for the first 10 years of the agreement. In addition to the purchase price is the consideration that the church is not vacating the facility and will benefit directly from the renovations and additions the school is planning. More importantly though is the long term success for the school as a ministry of Church of the Open Door.

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29. What do we do if the Elyria campus’ growth necessitates the need for more space?

As the Elyria campus grows, that will become the trigger for us to launch another campus just as we have done with Avon Lake, Vermilion, and Lorain.

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Additional Questions?

We want this FAQ to be as complete as possible. If you have any additional questions, feedback or concerns, please feel free to contact Jonathan Abdul via email at jonathan@opendoor.tv.

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