Dear Partners in Mission:
On March 1st we communicated to you that the Briarwood Board had discerned it was time to sell the property at 670 Copper Canyon Road. While we communicated that the buyer will continue to operate the site as a camp/retreat, at that time what could not be communicated were some details of the transaction. However, the sale closed today, April 19th, and as such we can give more details.
Working with a real estate marketing firm and the Town of Copper Canyon, the board received multiple bids on the property. A major consideration was what the Town would allow regarding development of the property and how the Leadership Center might be utilized. After considering all the bids, the goals of the purchaser, and the purchase price, the board chose to accept the bid from Denton County of $6M for the property and buildings. The county’s stated desire is to keep the property as public open space and utilize the Leadership Center. This also includes investing the several million dollars needed to address deferred maintenance, upgrade facilities to industry standards, and maintain operations.
As part of the agreement, the synod will continue to office from the Leadership Center through mid-May. After Synod Assembly (April 28-29), staff will begin the moving process. Starting May 1, please send mail to our new address:
NT-NL Synod, ELCA
c/o Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
2620 W Grauwyler Rd
Irving TX, 75061
(Our phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.)
In their discernment, the board also realized that the constitutional purposes of Briarwood Lutheran Ministries could be continued to be carried out without owning property. As such, three directors will be appointed by the Synod Council to manage the assets of the sale. After paying the various fees associated with a real estate transaction and the approximately $500K debt on the Leadership Formation building is retired, the remainder of the funds will be invested with the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest to create the Briarwood Legacy Endowment. Working with the synod council — the elected leaders of NT-NL — the directors will manage distributions and grants from this endowment to continue to fulfill the purposes of Briarwood in perpetuity.
On Sunday, April 16th, we held a worship service of transition and thanksgiving. This was a time given to allow those who desired to come together in community to give thanks for all that has happened on this property. For the memories and the lives touched. We also recognized that just as with our congregations, the church is never the building or the property but God’s gathered people. God’s people sent to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ into all the world. Through this endowment, Briarwood will live on and continue to fulfill its primary purpose of providing opportunities for discipleship, faith formation, and mission. For that, we give thanks.
In the Risen Christ,