New ministry partnership with Christian Care Centers
Many Greenville Oaks members know Christian Care Centers very well because they’ve had a family member live in one of their centers or they personally support the ministry. Christian Care Centers was started more than 65 years ago by the Garland Road Church of Christ in Dallas. It is a highly respected not-for-profit ministry that provides a full range of quality senior living services. They currently operate large facilities in Mesquite and Fort Worth.
In the summer of 2012 they recognized that they could do a better job of serving more families if they located smaller satellite facilities in communities where the children of aging parents live. They developed a vision of partnering with churches that had unused land to provide neighborhood campuses. The location of these facilities would enable aging parents to live close enough to their adult children for the children to conveniently check in on them.
After their study of several metroplex communities pointed to Allen as an excellent location for their new concept, Christian Care Centers approached Greenville Oaks. They shared their vision and asked if the church would be willing to use the vacant land on the east end of its property for their first neighborhood campus. Leadership did not immediately accept CCC’s proposal, because the church’s master plan called for that portion of the property to be used for parking to support a future larger auditorium and for outdoor ball fields.
When the master plan was developed fifteen years ago, Allen had a significant shortage of ball fields. That’s no longer the case. Since then, the City has built many top-quality fields. So the original idea of providing ball fields as a service to the community didn’t make sense any more. But, before moving forward with CCC’s proposal, a number of other ways to use that portion of the property were explored. Ideas considered included:
- Building a stand-alone teen center and repurposing the current teen center
- Building a counseling or family advocacy center
- Selling the land and using the money to make improvements to this building
In the end, every idea that involved the church developing the land also involved the church raising and investing lots of money to build and then provide for the ongoing program, staffing and operation of whatever was built. In reality the church didn’t have any viable way of using that portion of the property anytime in the foreseeable future. And, of course, selling land only works if someone is willing to pay for it. Plus, if someone bought the land the church would have to accept whatever the buyer did with it, whether they were a good neighbor or not.
So, the idea of providing a needed service to seniors and their adult children began to look like a positive way to turn an unused asset into a valuable service to our community. And partnering with a top-quality organization like Christian Care Centers would also provide opportunities for church members to serve and maybe even employment opportunities.
Over a period of several months Greenville Oaks leaders had a number of meetings with Christian Care Centers, including the elders and ministers visiting CCC’s Mesquite campus. Ensuring that the church’s long-term development needs were considered, the architects came up with a site plan that worked.
The plan uses roughly one acre of land that’s closest to the church building for parking. This is consistent with the church’s master plan for future parking. The interesting thing is that while the City will require CCC to build this amount of parking, most of it will never be used by CCC. So they will build it (and pay for it) but allow the church to use it. This would be a very real value to Greenville Oaks and it would increase the options on how the church uses its building.
The incorporation of the CCC project still allows for the future expansion of the church’s facilities. With space for additional parking on the north and west, the site would still support a 1,300 to 1,500 seat auditorium. That’s more than twice the size of the current auditorium, which has a maximum of 600 seats.
The CCC facility would provide three levels of service – retirement or independent living, assisted living and memory care. It would not provide nursing center care. There would be a total of 86 units. Twenty-two of them would be in seven one and two-bedroom cottages. Thirty-two would be assisted living and 32 would be memory care units along with separate outdoor courtyards. In the middle of the site would be a club house with a generous common gathering space, a cafeteria and area for other services. This campus would cost CCC around $13 to $15 million to build. This would be a wonderful facility and CCC would be a great neighbor and ministry partner.
In recent sermons, Keith reminded the church of just how blessed we are as individuals and as a church and talked about the Parable of the Talents. He shared that the master had entrusted three of his servants with very large amounts of money to look after while he was away for several years. The master didn’t give them instructions on how to take care of his money, but the servants knew that he expected them to invest and grow it. Greenville Oaks is like these servants. About 15 years ago God provided the land the church building is on in a surprising way and for half its market value and then He enabled a young bunch of around 300 people (kids included) to, against all odds, get financing and build the first phase of our current building.
The church’s building and property are gifts entrusted to us by God. Just like the master in the Parable of the Talents, God expects us to fully develop and increase the value of the resources He gives. In a sense, Greenville Oaks has had the five acres on the east end of its property buried for the past 15 years. We haven’t done anything with it and didn’t have any real plans for how to use it. Until now. After a lot of careful consideration, the elders agreed to not be afraid, like the third servant and committed to put these five acres of land to work by dedicating them to serve families through Christian Care Centers.
CCC is very excited about the value they can bring to Allen and Greenville Oaks, but they still have lots of work to do before any construction would begin. They have to complete their plans, get the City’s approval and secure financing.
The elders are also very excited to work with such a quality organization. Leadership envisions this will be a great partnership and a blessing to both our Greenville Oaks families and the residents that will live on this campus. The church gets the opportunity to be involved in positive service to the community without any out of pocket costs. Plus new ministry opportunities will be just across the parking lot and the church will get to use additional parking for free.
For more information on Christian Care Senior Living Community - Allen, click HERE.