Baptist Church Pulls Plug On Land Swap

May 13, 2015 By:George Boehme

Local News

In an effort to avoid more controversy, representatives of the West University Baptist Church have notified the City of West University Place that they are terminating any negotiations about a property exchange with West U.

Here is the statement from West University Baptist Church. It is expected that the special meeting of the West University City Council to approve the land swap that was scheduled for Thursday, May 14, will be canceled.

Statement From West University Baptist Church

Statement From West University Baptist Church


14 Responses to “Baptist Church Pulls Plug On Land Swap”

  1. Lucille Gallman Says:

    Back in October 2014, West University Place was rolling along in its usual laid-back state liking everybody and everything with a live and let live philosophy that made it a most desirable place to live and raise kids. Out of the blue, the leader and staff announced a quietly conceived plan to make the tiny block city buildings sit on, into a Super Block. Although the plan provided for the future of privately owned property, members of the staff assured everyone that it was not eminent domain. However, West University Baptist Church hastily reminded the leader and his staff that they had their own plans for property they owned. The leader and staff created a land swap deal. This resulted in discussions of every aspect of religion and the church for the next eight months ending only with the leadership of the church. Thank God!

  2. Brokelyn Says:

    West U Baptist has the rights of a homeowner but pays no taxes.

    It is a private enterprise receiving public funding.

    I don’t claim to understand the Church’s needs for space. I do see a very large structure in our city that is often closed and under-utilized. Were I in a position to do so, I would ask them to review their capacity utilization before expanding.

    But I’m not in a position to do so.

  3. Michelle Moore Says:

    Thank you, Pastor Patterson, for your gracious gesture of good will towards all the residents of West U.

  4. Lucille Gallman Says:

    All residents of West U should thank Mayor Bob Fry for his service to his city and country. His exceptional service in Vietnam as Commander of patrol boats no doubt prepared him to be Mayor of West University Place.

    • Brokelyn Says:

      With great respect, if I hadn’t read your messages over the past few years I would have fallen over laughing at this comment as the snarkiest posting of the year! However I think that you don’t usually go for humor or sarcasm in your postings, so this is truly your view?

  5. Disgusted Says:

    The recent election in West U was a referendum on the lack of transparency and, quite frankly decency, exercised by the outgoing Council with regard to its dealings with WUBC over the ‘Land Swap’. Having an elected Councilman who also serves as Deacon in the church act as the intermediary on the land deal AND said Councilman not recusing himself until publc shaming obliged him to do so was shameful.
    The election was also, however, a clear indictment of the Baptist Church’s intention to build its Youth Center ANYWHERE within the already congested West U city center. If Pastor Patterson truly believes that “the results of the recent election reflect the will of the voting public”, the church’s neighbors and community as a whole, he should listen very closely. Those who voted not only opposed the quiet and conflict riddled negotiations on the “Land Swap” but also his very own grand plans for the expansion of his ministry within the center of the city. To paraphrase his own words, if the question is “can they” build a youth center in the crowded center of West U the answer may very well be yes. If the question is SHOULD the Baptist church do so, the answer given by the community clearly is NO. Please listen to your neighbors, Pastor Patterson. Your congregation may come from far flung areas well outside of our city, but we voters actually live, work and raise our families here. Land Swap or not, your West U Baptist Church’s proposed youth facility in the center West University is UNWELCOME. Can you or should you build within our city? Proceed with construction and risk any good will or good neighbor sentiment you and your church may have gathered after all these years.

    • Brokelyn Says:

      The church serves more than West U citizens and it’s goal of expanding its plant in the heart of our city only reduces the appeal of West U. Perhaps if they pray hard enough and listen to the guidance they are receiving, they would realize that they are meant to sell this property and reinvest the substantial proceeds in lower-cost locations where 1) they would be able to purchase MORE land for the same price; and, b) they would be able to contribute economically and spiritually to people who would more greatly benefit from the church’s presence than we would in West U. West U has already been graced by the sizable presence of the church. Is it not enough? How about some moderation in the name of being good neighbors?

      Pray on it, church leaders. Perhaps you will discover in your hearts that which has already been revealed to many of us.

      • West U Resident Says:

        I usually agree with your thoughtful posts, but I think you are off base on this. Just because you personally don’t go to West U Baptist doesn’t mean others in West U don’t. WUBC has a lot of parishioners as residents and even more use their after-school daycare. This location serves those who wish to worship here. Their Crosspoint location serves a different demographic. I would speculate that after praying, like you’ve suggested, that they will not want to move out to cheaper property. Kind of like you would get offended if you wanted to build a larger home on your lot in West U and somebody suggested you move to Katy because you get more land for your money.
        I would bet they are just going to build the Youth Center on Amherst and move forward on that block to complete their worship complex, leaving all the complainers to wonder where they went wrong and wishing for the good old days.

        • Brokelyn Says:

          West U Resident,
          I appreciate the comments. To clarify, because I can see that my words weren’t clear — I’m not suggesting that West U Baptist should sell all of their property and leave West U. I am saying that they have a significant amount of plant already in the city and that expanding further would make their presence disproportionately large compared to the rest of our city property. My suggestion was to sell their incremental land (un-built) and use those proceeds to add plant in other neighborhoods that can use the economic stimulus, jobs, and ministry much more than we can in West U (where we have already benefitted from West U Baptist’s presence).

          For the record, I have attended West U Baptist but am not currently active. I and my family are actively involved in a number of their programs as participants as well as volunteers and I am a leader in a children’s program. I speak of them with fondness, not malice. But I also speak with a pragmatic view — just as I would want my 20-year old to leave the house and do good instead of annexing my living room, I wish for the church to expand their ministry to new areas instead of our limited space.

          Final point. I had dinner in the Third Ward recently. Great meal at a small, locally-owned joint. There are many great little places in that neighborhood, but there are also many blighted buildings and ugly eyesores mixed in. This neighborhood is 15 minutes away from West U. Tell me that the millions of dollars West U Baptist will spend on new plant in West U wouldn’t do more good there? It would be, as George Boehme just wrote, like the original settlers creating a church around which a neighborhood can thrive. Tell me that the youth of that neighborhood couldn’t use a Youth Center a lot more than the ones in our neighborhood. The same people who would utilize a Youth Center in West U could certainly make the short ride to that neighborhood, but the kids of the Third Ward sure can’t make it over to West U very easily. When I pray, this is the clarity that comes to me.

          This may be why I no longer attend West U Baptist. I contribute my sweat equity to directly help people in their programs, but I don’t understand their methods I question their goals.

          • West U Resident Says:

            I’m sure Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church would take issue with WUBC coming in and telling them they aren’t serving the Third Ward area adequately.

          • Confused Says:

            I might be wrong, but I think the Amherst property that the church is proposing to build as a youth ministry building currently has two old cottage-type buildings that are past their useful life. They currently use them for some ministries but they are woefully inadequate for the church’s needs. So, do you think that they should sell those properties and “invest” the proceeds in ministries elsewhere if, by taking such action, it leaves them with inadequate space for their current ministries? Why shouldn’t the church, as a property owner in West U, have similar rights as a homeowner does, who tears down an old cottage and replaces it with something that meets his current family’s needs? Your position doesn’t seem fair.

  6. Karl Caillouet Says:

    Well, there you go …

    The church’s missive, stating their reasons for pulling out of the negotiations, with claims that they were basically pressured into the land swap issue, and clearly stating themselves this entire affair was “…not in the best interests of the city … and its citizens”, certainly appears to be an indictment against city management and the current council with regard to their dealings with their citizens, and an admission that transparency has indeed been lacking.

    Now, how on earth did Ted Cruz get involved??

  7. David Says:

    Thank you Rodger. Everything will work out as it is supposed to be.

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