The eyes of Global are upon Texas
Ewin Barnett, a Journal contributing editor, helped with this report.
By Mac Overton
Global Church of God president Larry Salyer plans to visit Dallas in June to investigate the possibility of relocating Global's headquarters there from the San Diego suburb of Escondido.
In an update sent to "All Staff, Ministers and Key Personnel" May 28, Mr. Salyer said that, "as you may know, the council and board have asked me, in the capacity of president, to oversee relocation of the office. The decision to move to Texas is dependent upon several factors, the most obvious of which is whether God opens doors and blesses this decision, or shows us something we may have missed. The only way to know is to go forward with an open mind."
Mr. Salyer said he intended to take another trip to Texas in the near future to begin a preliminary survey of the DallasFort Worth area.
"We want to screen the available office facilities and communities that would best serve our needs," he said. "We hope to select a number of prospective locations for review by the board and staff over the next month or so. We would then make a follow-up visit to draw up contracts, specifications, etc."
Mr. Salyer said that, once a general area is selected, the staff can begin to make personal plans.
"Those who are excited about this move are checking the Internet, etc., to learn more about the area, housing options, etc., and would like to be able to focus their inquiries on the right community."
He said headquarters personnel "all appreciated very much the kind letter from the DallasFort Worth congregation extending a welcome and offer of assistance in gathering information."
The week of May 24 Mr. Salyer met with Global's landlord in San Diego and discussed the potential move to Texas.
Norbert Link, attorney for the GCG, said the decision to relocate from California is based on several factors.
"At this point, we are presently occupying the premises where we are rent-free," Mr. Link said in an interview with The Journal's Ewin Barnett. "We received this for the year. By the end of the year, we will not be able to stay there rent-free anymore.
"That means we would have to rent the premises where we are for the fair market value, which would be so high it would prevent us from doing that. So we knew that by the end of the year we had to move out of the premises.
"The only question was, do we move somewhere in California, or do we move out of state? Looking at all the different figures, the cost of living, expenses, and so on, it was felt that it would be in the long run much more advantageous to move out of state."
Mr. Salyer said that the executive committee (four members operating on behalf of the board) conducted a budget-review meeting May 25.
"Even though we will see some very lean days over the next three months, we are happy to report that we expect to end the year well into the black instead of the much-dreaded and often prophesied red," he said. "The income is running very close to our projections, and we have been able to continue to reduce our outgo."
He praised the "diligent effort and sacrifice" of the Global staff since last November's split, with Global founder Roderick Meredith leaving to form the Living Church of God (also headquartered in Escondido, in fact in the same building as Global). He added that many Global employees had helped the organization cut costs by voluntarily taking wage cuts and giving up fleet cars.
Mr. Salyer also announced that Global canceled a Feast site at St. Catherines, Ont., Canada for this year.
"That site was dependent on the Akron [Ohio] congregation and the Ontario brethren." he said. "Most of those two groups have left us to follow [Dave] Pack [a former GCG minister who left recently to form the Restored Church of God]. The other Northeastern and New England groups have been contacted and are able to attend elsewhere."
Mr. Salyer said Global has suffered a "small drop in income" resulting from people leaving to join with Mr. Pack, but "it is not nearly as much as some would suggest. We have no evidence that the numbers are significantly above those represented by the [aforementioned] two congregations."
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