A local relief organization is looking for a new home after receiving notice property owners intend to sell.
In a Wednesday meeting between the executive committees of Burke Charitable Properties and Burke United Christian Ministries, BUCM leadership was told of BCP’s intent to sell the property at 305-C W. Union St, which has housed the ministry for the last 22 years. BUCM will have six months to find another place.
According to BUCM Board Chair Michele Byrd, representatives from BCP told her the decision was made to sell the property so BCP could “further align with where they may be going within their own mission.”
Burke Charitable Properties Board President Doug Setzer confirmed to The News Herald that a six-month notice has been delivered to Burke United Christian Ministries, but could not elaborate, saying the details are still being worked out.
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Last month, BUCM Executive Director Alice Horton said the organization signed a month-to-month lease with BCP. Horton said she was told the month-to-month lease was in response to “backlash from different entities that were concerned about our location.”
Horton said representatives from BCP have told her they will continue to support BUCM in the future and will work to help make the move as smooth as possible.
“They are not trying to find us another place, but they want to see us in a good position,” Horton said.
According to Setzer, when the property is sold, BCP also plans to donate some of the proceeds to BUCM. An amount has not yet been determined.
Local clergy members also are seeking to find ways to help the ministry move forward.
“We in the faith community are working to find ways to address this devastating news,” said the Rev. Dana McKim, pastor of First United Methodist Church and a member of the Morganton Area Ministerial Alliance. “We will find a way to meet the needs of the least, the last and the lost.”
Horton said the next six months and beyond are going to be significant challenge for the 45-year-old organization, but she is hopeful the community will rally around it.
“We are actively looking and searching,” she said. “We need support from the community, not only financial support to make this happen, but we also need support for moving, volunteers, because it’s going to be a big undertaking.”
Jason Koon is a staff writer and can be reached at 828-432-8907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.