ARLINGTON — Wearing T-shirts declaring “We Are the Church," members of High Point Church in Arlington filed in and out of the building for the final service at 2500 Arbrook Boulevard.
"It’s hard, because I didn’t know anything about this," said congregation member Erendira Villa. "But it’s a new lesson, a journey. It’s a test that God is putting us through, to learn to stick together."
High Point's 107-acre campus boasts 423,000 square feet of building space. According to News 8 media partner the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the church's lender — Evangelical Christian Credit Union — claims the congregation defaulted on its $31.5 million mortgage.
ECCU said it was foreclosing on the property.
Associate Pastor Arthur Purvis told News 8 the church acted in good faith. "All that we really know is that we were paid up on all of our bills and have never been late,” he said. “The church has done the right thing and taken the high road in every area.”
Purvis said church leaders decided it didn't make good financial sense to wage what could be an expensive legal battle to keep the property.
The church's daycare center and a school of about 200 students will also close. For the next month, services will be held at various locations, with the 2,500-member congregation meeting in small groups on Sundays and some weekdays.
"It’s not just about a building... it’s about people,” Purvis said. "Like the T-shirts say, obviously the people, 'We are the church.'”
“We’re still going to stand by faith with this church,” said another member, Lyenise Beasley. “This is our home. So, if we have to move, we will.”
Starting July 6, High Point Church plans to conduct services at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie until they find a permanent meeting place.