Ownership of the historic Brethren Missionary Herald Company building, located at 1104 Kings Highway, Winona Lake, Ind., changed hands yesterday as legal documents were signed between the Brethren Missionary Herald Co., Inc., and the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor).
In a closing held at the church offices, BMH board chair, Tim Sprankle, and WLGBC pastor, Bruce Barlow, signed closing papers that made the transfer of property official.
The two organizations have been in discussion about the possible sale since early 2015 when it became apparent that BMH would not need to own property from which to operate and WLGBC, located next door, needed space for growing ministries.
The two organizations worked to reach a win-win solution. The church paid the appraised value of $425,000 and will provide BMH/GraceConnect with office space at no additional charge for at least five years. Offices for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC), also currently housed in the building, will continue to share space with BMH.
The church will use the remainder of the building primarily for Kids Connection ministries to children from pre-K through 6th grade.
Proceeds from the sale will be invested and should provide BMH similar income as if the building was retained and space rented to tenants.
The BMH building was constructed in the mid-1950s. In addition to housing offices, warehouse space, and the Herald Bookstore, it served as the offices for a number of FGBC organizations and was a de facto “denominational” headquarters. In recent years, it has been the site of Tree of Life Bookstore, the campus bookstore for Grace College. The warehouse space was vacated in 2015 as BMH Books product was transferred to a warehouse near Grand Rapids, Mich., for storage and order fulfillment. The FGBC Archives, housed in the BMH Building until mid-May, have been relocated to Westminster Hall on the campus of Grace College.