SANTA ANA, CA (May 11, 2012) – Newsong, an Evangelical Covenant Church, has agreed to purchase a historic arts building downtown.
The church hasn’t decided on any specific plans for the building. Discussions that are “only in the dream phase” have considered ideas such as the creation of a community arts theater to artistic opportunities for Santa Ana youth.
“At this stage of the process, we aren’t rushing into any particular plans for the building until we really get to know and understand the heart of the current tenants and community stakeholders,” said Shaun King, Newsong director of communications, in a prepared statement.
The purchase of the Santora Arts Building fits well into the church’s identity and mission. Newsong’s website refers to the congregation as “a vibrant community/church of artists, creative, innovators, entrepreneurs and community development leaders.”
According to the website, “The arts and the artists who create them set the tone of truth in today’s society. Artists are the prophets of every generation, a prophet even non-Christians listen to. The arts infiltrate main culture and firmly set the nomenclature of today’s times. Embracing the arts is the best way to speak to today’s modern world.”
Purchasing the building is a way of preserving the past while pursuing an innovative future. “When we learned that the building was for sale, we saw this as an opportunity to ensure that The Santora didn’t just become a random office complex with a rich history, but that it would serve as a regional and even an international hub for the creative community,” the church release says. “Our dream is a harmonious community partnership at every level and we want to preserve the historical integrity of this beautiful building.”
Lead Pastor David Gibbons emphasized in an online message that, “The Santa Ana building is not a replacement for Irvine weekend activities. It will be a new ministry hub focusing on training and urban ministry. This proposed acquisition gives us an opportunity to connect with artists and marginalized people in a very unique way.”
The church also may include a 300-plus meeting facility that could be used for weekend worship services as well as a site for training artists. The congregation does not intend to displace any tenants and would like them to renew their leases.
The building will cost $6.2 million, Gibbons said. The down payment will be $3.2 million with the congregation financing the remaining amount.