By John Ceballos, The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.).
Cory Petcoff believes there was some divine intervention in the deal that will bring a new church to the space previously occupied by a different congregation.
Petcoff is the president of Lakeland-based Baron Realty, which closed a deal last week to acquire the property that formerly housed Westminster Presbyterian Church.
“I really, really believe the hand of God was on this transaction,” Petcoff said. “There were a lot of times these deals could’ve died, but they kept getting put back together, and we were able to work our way through all the challenges.”
Baron Realty will lease the 7,000-square-foot Gothic-style sanctuary building, which housed Westminster Presbyterian since the 1920s, to the non-denominational Grace City Church.
Additionally, the 7,300-square-foot space formerly occupied by Westminster Presbyterian’s parish hall and Sunday school rooms has been leased by the new Lakeland Institute for Learning.
“It’s an iconic church in the area,” said Craig Morby, the broker who handled the transaction. “It’s got 1925 issues, but you also don’t want it to go away.
“The good news is the space will continue to be a church.”