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The family of churches called the Haywood Baptist Association will gather for worship and business at East Fork Baptist Church, this Tuesday, October 24th, for our annual session. We will enjoy a meal prepared by East Fork that will begin to be served at 5:30 PM. Then, we will assemble in the auditorium at 7 for worship, reports, and business. Adam Black, Pastor of Woodland will bring our message.

One of those business items will be the HBA officers' recommendation to put the current HBA office and property up for sale, relocate to the former East Waynesville Baptist Church, and renovate as the Haywood Baptist Association Mission Center. We hope your messengers (2 per church plus the pastor) will come to make an informed and prayerful decision. I shared this in a former article. You can read it at this link:

Also, there is a video discussion:

I received some additional questions and here they are, along with some of my answers. I do not claim to speak for all our officers, or the Association, but here is what I think.

Questions about the mission center:

How many people will it be able to house?

I would think 24 would be reasonable. You might shoehorn more in, but I don’t think that is advisable. But, it’s a guess at this point. What I can say for certain is that it will house more than we can currently accommodate which is zero.

How many bathroom additions are you going to add?

There are currently four bathrooms. What I would hope is to add a men’s and women’s shower and upgrade the current bathrooms as well.

What is the cost?

Right now, there are some initial estimates of cosmetic enhancements in the $15,000 range. Further, a new HVAC system will be needed, and we are looking at about $40,000. Beyond that, we would have to get quotes. If the current facility sells for $600,000 to 750,000 as a reputable realtor suggested, even if we spend $250,000 for a turnkey upgrade, we are still ahead of the game. I regret I cannot be more definitive, but it has taken time to get an inspection done first, and then based on that we had another structural engineer do an inspection who confirmed the integrity of the building and its foundation. I plan to get a quote ASAP, just not sure I can have it by Tuesday--but I will try.

What is the timeline for renovations?

None until the current building is sold. Then full speed ahead.

What is the estimated yearly occupancy percentage?

No idea except for regular office hours and meetings. We have had a church inquire about the potential use of some educational space.

Is this only for outside groups?

No. We currently use our building for church plants to have meetings and there are wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, etc. for members of HBA churches. HBA churches, NC Baptists, Baptists on Mission, etc. could request use.

Will you allow people from Haywood County to stay?

Potentially. For example, if a youth group wanted to do a discipleship weekend, etc. but I think it would be rare.

What is the maximum length of time someone can stay?

I would suggest no more than two weeks, but there might be a crisis such as the flood where Baptists on Mission might request a longer time.

What is the cost to stay?

I would suggest a deposit to cover any potential damage/cleanup and if all is well, the deposit could be returned. This may need to be evaluated if a cleaning service, for example, is hired to maintain the facility. Again, I hope that it is used so often that we will need that kind of maintenance and can charge enough in fees to cover that.

What’s the process for someone to be able to stay?

Our current process is to fill out a form at the office.

Who makes those decisions?

Myself and/or the officers.

Will all of these be individual units?

There would be a separation between the male and female sides of the building. Maybe a prophet’s chamber for a visiting speaker or a missionary on furlough could be a feature.

Will they be dormitory style?

Roughing it: bring cots, air mattresses, etc. unless we decide to fix one room with a bed, etc (see previous question).

Questions about the church planting aspect:

What is the process for allowing a church plant to meet here?

Make a request of the HBA officers to be reviewed by them.

Are these SendNC funded planters?

Open. The HBA might want to plant a church.

Do they need to be Baptist?


Do they have to be a part of the local association before being able to meet here?

Yes or having the intent to be (under watchcare).

Is there any funding available for the church planters?

Not at this time, but minimal cost meeting space is a pretty good perk.

Will church plants be allowed to make any alterations to the space?

Maybe. It would have to be reviewed.

Will they be able to use space other than the sanctuary?

Any space available other than the HBA administrative offices—3 or 4 downstairs rooms.

Will you allow church plants that result from church splits?

It is a much more involved process for a church that has split from a member church to join the Association, as our desire is to encourage reconciliation.

Who makes these decisions?

The HBA in its quarterly meetings or the officers between sessions.

We want to help you have the answers you need. So, feel free to give me a call!

Your Servant,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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