Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Allen Temple Church sold

Congregation is building $9M center

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church building at 7181 Reading Road in Roselawn has been sold in preparation for its new $9 million structure to be built in Bond Hill's Swifton Commons.

        The Rev. Donald Jordan, pastor, said the building was sold to Greater Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in Avondale for $780,000.

        He said the Allen Temple congregation will move out the last Sunday in August.

        But they will not be moving to the new building. Plans to start construction have been delayed, the Rev. Mr. Jordan said.

        “We will renovate one of the vacant areas in Swifton Commons to hold church services while building the new church,” the Rev. Mr. Jordan said. “We will just do enough to make it suitable to hold services because we don't intend to be there that long.”

        The Allen Temple Foundation purchased the 34-acre Swifton Commons Mall at 7030 Reading Road a year ago for $1.2 million. The Rev. Mr. Jordan has planned a $40 million renovation of the mall with his church as an anchor tenant.

        “But I don't want to start breaking ground for the church until I am sure the money is right,” he said.

        The church would be mostly glass and granite patterned after Robert Shuler's Crystal Cathedral in Ingleside, Calif. It will include a 1,000-seat sanctuary, a fellowship hall, family center, gymnasium, community kitchen, classrooms,fitness room and recreation center.

        A conference center will be built next to the church, which would include an amphitheater.

        Cincinnati City Councilwoman Alicia Reece said the new church building and the renovation plans for Swifton Commons Mall fit her proposed $30 million Seymour Avenue project, stretching from Seymour and Paddock to Seymour and Langdon Farm Road.

        “This is a neighborhood renaissance project, both private and public, that could become a regional attraction,” Ms. Reece said. “Swifton Commons is part of the anchors in the project along with the post office, the Roselawn Regional Park and Cincinnati Gardens.”


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