Sacred Spaces, Innovative Places

Reimagining Church Property and Facilities As Assets


A Challenge to Face, An Opportunity to Embrace

When we hear the word “church,” one of the first things that comes to mind for many of us are church buildings. These brick and mortar, asphalt and gravel pieces of holy ground include the educational space where we went to Sunday School as a child, the gym in which we played church league basketball as a teen, the parking lot where our congregation held its annual Fall Festival and the sanctuary where we worshipped over the years, were baptized and got married. These and so many other real, tangible sites are connected to our faith journey and will always hold special places in our hearts.

Yet, the landscape of church buildings and property is changing at warp speed in the 21st century. Countless congregations are dealing with both declining attendance and decreasing revenue. As a result, their facilities suddenly feel way too large and have become a huge burden to maintain.

This resource was created with both the sacredness and challenges of church campuses in mind. On the one hand, through these case studies, we hope to celebrate church facilities and property as sacred spaces that continue to play a key role in our formation as people of faith. At the same time, we want to be honest that church physical plants have become a huge financial challenge for more and more congregations.

This resource tells the story of seven CBF partner churches and the creative ways they are using their facilities and property. Their stories are varied and unique. Some of the congregations featured have literally found a new lease on their congregational future through the imaginative and courageous steps they have taken. Other churches profiled in this document have discovered ways to enhance already thriving work, simply generate extra revenue for current and future endeavors or profit from selling unneeded property. All of them offer thoughtful examples that are worth pondering, learning from and exploring.

For more information, contact Rickey Letson, CBF Congregational Stewardship Officer, at or 678-230-8341.


Case studies featured in the Sacred Spaces, Innovative Places Resource


The Church As Secondary Tenant | Englewood Baptist, Gladstone, Mo.
Solar Farming | First Baptist Church, Mount Olive, N.C.
Sale of Church Property | First Baptist Church, Augusta, Ga.
Use of Parking Lots | First Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C. & Auburn First Baptist Church, Auburn, Ala.
Innovative Preschool Program | River Road Church, Baptist, Richmond, Va.
Leasing Space to Nonprofits and Other Congregations | Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.


First Baptist Church, Mount Olive, N.C.



Southside Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.