Note: This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in today’s Whittier (Calif.) Daily News. To read the entire article click here.
WHITTIER – For about a year and a half, members of Community Grace Brethren Church have been like nomads, wandering without a permanent home.
But no more. By December or January the about 100 church members hope to move into the former 3-acre Greenleaf Furniture property, which has been shuttered for nearly three years.
“It’s exciting,” said Larry Olguin, one of the church elders. “This building was made for a church. It’s spacious. We had a gym in our old facility and this warehouse will be a gym.”
The church is paying the $3.5 million price for the property from proceeds gained through selling their former 7-acre property at the southwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Vicky Drive.
Since selling in May 2009, its services have been held mostly at the Whittier Senior Center. But when that wasn’t available, they have met at Guerra Gutierrez mortuary.
“It has been frustrating but also a blessing to meet,” said Carolyn Peak, a church member since 1961.
While the city will be losing a tax-producing property, the change in use is still a good one, said Jeff Collier, assistant city manager for Whittier.
“It hasn’t had an active use for some time,” Collier said.
“(But) this brings a productive use on to the site,” he said. “It also brings activity and folks that go to church will shop or go to dinner or lunch. Having the vitality and contributions churches make to the fabric of society also is a positive.”
The church dates back to 1915 when First Brethren Church, 6704 Milton Ave., was founded.