By Ken Vance
VANCOUVER — A crisis has been averted for the members of Living Hope Church.
Faced with an Oct. 28 deadline to resolve a refinancing obligation on the building that currently serves as home to the church, Madore Properties stepped up to secure the Living Hope Church site by purchasing the building and property for $4,746,700. Madore Properties is an LLC owned by David Madore, owner and founder of US Digital in Vancouver.
According to Clark County Property Information records, Madore Properties purchased the 217,800-square-foot building and its five acres on Oct. 14. The building, formerly the site of Kmart, was purchased by an LLC made up of area residents and Living Hope Church members for $5 million on Oct. 28, 2011.
“They were under a deadline,’’ Madore told ClarkCountyToday.com, of which he is also owner and founder. “If that date went by and the loan was not paid off by that date, they would have defaulted on the loan.’’
The church underwent a pastoral change about a year ago and the business operations required a complete start over. Mike Miller is currently serving as the interim pastor at Living Hope Church. He agreed to fill the position for one year with no salary. Management of the church’s business operations is guided by executive pastor Doug Frazier, who oversees the administrative areas.
“We owed roughly $4.7 million and it was due Oct. 28,’’ Frazier said of the church’s predicament. “After a 5-year term, they needed their principal back.’’
Frazier said in 2011 when the LLC was formed, Living Hope Church was averaging 3,000-plus members in attendance each week.
“When the church was in its hey day, it was likely the largest in Clark County,’’ Frazier said. “That is when they formed the LLC. It was made up of a variety of people — rich, poor, wealthy — these people believed in the vision and invested in it. The problem is the term was going to run out on Oct. 28 of this year.’’
Madore is not a member of Living Hope Church. He is a member of Grace Foursquare Church in Camas. However, Madore said he is an admirer of what the current leadership and members of Living Hope Church are doing in the community and wanted to ensure that would continue.
“The church is doing a very good thing,’’ Madore said. “They are serving their community as a lighthouse in that area and that would have all stopped. For the sake of accommodating the continuance of that good ministry, they asked if anyone would step forward. I am thankful that God, in his providence, provided His way to meet that need through Madore Properties.’’
Under the agreement, Madore Properties will allow Living Hope Church to use the site as its home without paying any rent. The church will pay the utilities and maintenance and Madore Properties will pay the taxes and insurance. The total commitment from Madore Properties is $5 million. Living Hope Church also has the option to purchase the property back at the same purchase price at any time during the 15-year term.
“There’s a written agreement that guarantees their ability to sell the property, or if they want me to sell the property, I’m here to serve them,’’ Madore said. “If they want to acquire it on their own and sell it and do something else with it, I will be happy to accommodate them. I’m not going to pull any cash out of this that will go into to my pocket. It all goes for the ministry.’’
Madore committed more than just the purchase price of the property to help Living Hope Church with other debts.
“The reason he (Madore) gave us $5 million is that we had a lot of outstanding taxes,’’ Frazier said. “We had some big numbers we had to address.’’
The church made a commitment to Madore to follow a model that he and Frazier currently oversee at US Digital’s Outreach Center, located at 1400 NE 136th Ave. in Vancouver. A portion of the building that serves as home to US Digital was remodeled in 2008, at Madore’s expense, to create office space for nonprofit organizations in Clark County.
Frazier, who also manages the US Digital Outreach Center, says more than 40 area nonprofits are currently using the space provided.
“Our commitment to him (Madore) is that we will open up Living Hope Church to other ministries,’’ Frazier said. “We’re already opening to a youth center concept with multiple churches involved in a massive youth gathering in January that will host teenagers from all over Clark County. Our commitment is to use it for more than a church. We’re going to use it for the universal church of the body of Christ, which goes beyond the Living Hope brand. We’re using it for Clark County.’’
Frazier described Living Hope as “not a normal church.’’
“This is an evangelical church,’’ Frazier said. “This is a church that reaches out to people who don’t go to church. We’re reaching out to people who come out of addiction, come out of drug use, come out of broken families. We’re able to minister to those kind of people. We feed 1,000 to 1,500 homeless people with all of our programs.’’
Frazier said that while the US Digital Outreach Center addresses the needs of the adult nonprofit community, Living Hope Church will reach out to the youth in Clark County.
“What I’ve told David is that in the initial stages, it’s going to be more for the 18-and-under community,’’ Frazier said. “US Digital is more of a corporate, business and professional environment. This facility is going to be for young people. Most of what we do there will be centered around young people. We can’t pull that off at US Digital so we will contrast the two.’’
Frazier praised Madore for his philanthropy.
“This is an incredible blessing that he has provided,’’ said Frazier of Madore, who will not profit from any future sale of the building.
“We’re not charging any rent at all for Living Hope to continue to use the site,’’ Madore said. “We are serving as hosts, similar to the way we are at US Digital Outreach. We want to allow the ministries to do what they do best, that is to serve and love the people.’’
Madore said there was also a recent covenant agreement between Living Hope Church and Vancouver’s Cornerstone Christian Academy. The two parties considered sharing the current Living Hope site, however, Madore indicated they decided that wouldn’t be feasible so Cornerstone Christian Academy is now considering another site.
“Where the rubber meets the road out there in the community, there is more opportunity for a number of ministries to share that site,’’ Madore said of the Living Hope Church property. “We’re not dictating that, but we’re encouraging it. We know it works very well at US Digital and we would like to see the vision be replicated.’’