The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board unanimously voted to sell the Texan Lodge at the Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico and invest the revenue in convention-sponsored youth camps.
The board voted to sell the lodge for $100,000 to Glorieta 2.0, a Christian camp group that is buying the conference center from LifeWay Christian Resources. The BGCT will then create a "quasi-endowment" with the funds, which will produce $4,000-5,000 year to support BGCT youth camps such as Camp Exalted and Camp Fusion.
Texas Baptists' Treasurer Jill Larsen said the endowment would continue the type of work the funds were originally donated for in the construction of the Texan Lodge. The BGCT owns the lodge but leases the land. That lease is set to end Sept. 30.
"[Texas Baptists' Executive Director] Dr. [David] Hardage and I are both very interested in increasing our endowment as we feel like that helps us ensure our future funding of our ministries," she said.
Glorieta 2.0 has asked lodge owners to make decisions about lodge ownership by Sept. 1. Glorieta 2.0 provided three options for lodge owners: donate the lodge, sell it for roughly $30 a square foot up to $100,000 or lease it for 12 years after which it would be donated to Glorieta 2.0.
The lodge has been used to house staff members attending various LifeWay events, but that has been declining as fewer events have been held there.
Selling the lodge also frees up $15,000 a year in the BGCT budget. Larsen said decisions have not been made on how to reallocate those funds.