With a prayerful desire to be in our new office location before the close of 2013, crews have wasted no time beginning renovations. Work started last week to perform rudimentary repair of water lines and electrical systems, immediately followed by removal of ceiling tile which is old and worn.
On December 7, 2012, Florida Conference signed closing papers to finalize the purchase of the former Robb & Stucky Interiors building at 351 S. State Rd. 434 in Altamonte Springs. With acquisition of this building completed, Florida Conference has reached God’s Next Stepping Stone toward relocation, tentatively scheduled for late 2013.
The top priority now is focusing on renovation and repair of damage to the building resulting from years of vacancy and lack of upkeep. In addition, relocation team members are already working diligently with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting to assess space needs for Florida Conference’s ministry and service areas, as well as the Adventist Book Center, and begin designing a suitable floorplan.
Learn more about the building’s location and specifications in the July 2012 press release.
The photo gallery below is from a July 26, 2012, building tour taken by Florida Conference Executive Committee members prior to their vote to proceed with purchase plans. Note that much of the existing visible floorplan is facade left over from the furniture store business. Lobby walls are likely to be the only recognizable architecture remaining after Florida Conference moves in. (Photos: Lee Bennett)
Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has reached the Next Stepping Stone in the journey toward a new headquarters location.
Today, July 26, 2012, the Florida Conference Executive Committee voted to proceed with plans to purchase the former Robb & Stucky Interiors building at 351 S. State Rd. 434 in Altamonte Springs as the new location for Florida Conference’s headquarters. The contract will be subject to an Inspection Period before final purchase for the purpose of determining the quality of the building, costs for renovation, zoning matters, and similar due diligence.
The 80,202-square-foot, single-story building sits on more than 11 acres located at the southeast corner of Forest City Road (State Road 434) and West Town Parkway, about 1/2 mile south of State Road 436 and less than two miles from Forest Lake Academy.
The interior offers near unlimited configuration choices for office layout and features exceptional warehouse space with truck loading bays which are also advantageous for the Adventist Book Center. The property includes nearly 200 parking spaces and features a covered driveway at the front entrance.
Perhaps you have heard by now that the Lord has opened a marvelous door for Florida Conference. For several years, our office operations have been challenged by a shortage of storage. We have storage in two additional locations in the Orlando area. In addition, the food distribution service of the Adventist Book Center (ABC) has grown rapidly. We are now handling distribution of health food for conferences up and down the east coast. This has necessitated the ABC looking for a way to add freezer and refrigeration space at another location.
As you may have already read in our January 30 news release, the Florida Department of Transportation approached the Florida Conference Executive Committee regarding the need to widen Interstate 4—the primary traffic artery through the City of Orlando. To our amazement, instead of claiming eminent domain, the Florida Department of Transportation decided to buy our entire facility, and the purchase was completed in January 2012.
This certainly has caught all of us by surprise. It was never the Conference Administration’s expectation that this providential development would take place, but we are looking for God’s leading as we move into the future.
I hasten to add, we are very mindful that the office is only a place from which to empower ministry and evangelism in the territory where we have been asked to serve. By God’s grace, the office relocation will not be an end in itself. It is merely a tool for assisting congregations and pastoral leaders with the mission of reaching people for Jesus—and what a great mission we have!
There is nothing more fulfilling than to be in the business of leading people to Jesus; seeing God transform lives. The real work of leadership happens among our people each day.
Please pray for God’s leading as we discern our next steps. God doesn’t often lead more than a step or two at a time, but that is okay. In this way, He keeps us in an attitude of surrender and dependence. We may not foresee the direction He will take us, but He always has a plan and a path for us if we are open to His guidance.
Please also pray that we will be discerning of how to uphold the real work of ministry which happens through the loving service of our members and pastoral leaders.
Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has important news to share about the future of our facility and property located at 655 North Wymore Road, Winter Park, Florida. We are praising God for his goodness and guidance!
Background and Current Situation
Nearly four years ago, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) gave notice that a portion of Florida Conference’s property would be subject to eminent domain and taken for expansion work on Interstate 4. In fact, eminent domain was completed last year on parcels adjacent to the Conference’s property.
With God’s leading and through careful negotiation, the FDOT ultimately approached the Florida Conference Executive Committee with an official proposal to purchase our entire facility/property, instead of only a partial taking, with extended possession by Florida Conference.
Florida Conference hired experienced, respected legal counsel, and negotiations with the FDOT have been professional and positive. The FDOT proposal and purchase details for our property were both fair and advantageous to Florida Conference. The Florida Conference Executive Committee was unified in its decision to move forward to sell our property to the FDOT.
This past Friday, January 27, the FDOT purchased our facility/property and the agreement was complete.
A Blessing and the Next Steps
Through our agreement with the FDOT, we can remain in our building, rent-free, for the next two years, and they will pay to have us moved.
Florida Conference is in a very strong position to relocate. This is a great opportunity since we outgrew our current office and parking capacity several years ago.
The Florida Conference Executive Committee is committed to keeping our offices located in the greater Orlando area. The Committee is moving forward together to determine future steps.
How Will This Impact Seventh-day Adventist Churches and Schools?
Our office relocation in the coming years will be beneficial to our churches and schools. We will have more space in a new facility to house all ministries and support teams in one centralized location to serve our churches and schools well.
A Word From Our President
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the interaction between our professional staff, our trusted counsel, and the representatives of the Florida Department of Transportation,” says Mike Cauley, Florida Conference President and Executive Committee Chair. “We are in a better position than we could ask or imagine as we make plans to relocate. We see this opportunity as God’s next stepping stone for us as we seek to positively impact more and more people and ministry for Him!”
For More Information
Frequently Asked Questions and future news updates are published on the official relocation web page: http://www.floridaconference.com/steppingstone/. We will gladly accept your questions or information to share related to this announcement. Simply use the Feedback Form located on the relocation web page.
More information about Florida Conference’s relocation will be provided as our plans come together in the months and years ahead.
Thank you for your prayers and support!