Saying the mission of God is about people, not buildings, the leadership at Outer Banks Community Church in Kill Devil Hills has decided to sell the church property.
The 1.98 acre lot at 902 South Virginia Dare Trail across from the Clark Street beach access is on the market at $1.98 million.
But members of the Outer Banks Community Church, with grounds on the Beach Road previously occupied by Ocean View Baptist Church, says the church itself isn’t going anywhere.
“Outer Banks Community Church is an intentional re-plant of Ocean View Baptist Church with a more than 25-year history on the Outer Banks,” the church said in a news release. “In March 2018, OBXCC recognized God’s call into a new era of ministry within and to the community. The first step in this spiritual journey was marked with a new name, and this next step will be marked with a new location.”
Prior to the pandemic, church elders Jim Ashe, Heath Jackson and Erroll Rohrbacher were considering a move to a different location on the bypass to become more visible and accessible to the local residents who live and work on the Outer Banks. Since late March, Sunday worship has been recorded and streamed online at 10 a.m. The community of believers has also been meeting on Zoom every Sunday morning at 9 a.m., as well as in smaller home-based groups during the week, both on Zoom and in-person once the North Carolina COVID 19 guidelines allowed for gatherings of 10 or less indoors.
As the members have been meeting away from the facility on the Beach Road, they have realized owning this particular building is not a necessary component of their worship and community.
“We’ve actually seen an increase in participation in our community groups during this time,” said Heath Jackson, Community Groups Pastor. “And people who wouldn’t be able to meet with us right now because they’ve moved away from the Outer Banks, or have family they’re caring for at home, are able to be part of our community through Zoom meetings.”
Church leadership has also found the building to be a hindrance, rather than a help “to doing the work that God has given them – to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ and to make disciples,” the release said.
The building and land are owned outright, with no mortgage, but church leaders say maintenance and upkeep aren’t worth the return on investment.
“The mission of God is about people, not buildings. Without having to keep up with the demands of the building – cutting grass, pulling weeds, cleaning – I have time to do more of God’s work, meeting with people one on one for building relationships and discipleship,” said Jim Ashe, Discipleship Pastor.
The elders also feel the church’s “talent” is literally buried in the ground, a parable Jesus taught about using resources for building the kingdom of God, according to Erroll Rohrbacher, Teaching Pastor.
“We need to be good managers of God’s resources. As it stands now, we haven’t been able to utilize the property effectively over the past six months. But even if we could, the value of it can be put to work much more effectively for Jesus’ return. Once the property sells, there’ll be resources to fund the ministry into the future and we’ll be better equipped to meet real needs in our community,” he said.
The agreement of the members to sell the property has also come at an opportune time, as the Outer Banks real estate market is strong as a result of current interest rates and interest in the area.
The elders are hopeful for a quick sale, and to be able to find a suitable commercial space to lease on the bypass in Kill Devil Hills or somewhere close by. They hope to begin meeting in person again on Sundays, as soon as North Carolina moves into a phase that will allow for meeting in person with minimal restrictions.
The property at 902 S Virginia Dare Trail is listed for sale by Lauren Rickard of Coldwell Banker Seaside. Click here for the MLS listing. For more information about the property, please contact Lauren at (252) 255-6492 or [email protected].