Former Mega Church Gets Makeover
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — What was once a popular worship place for thousands of church members, will soon be transformed into a special place for children with special needs. The First Family Church complex, one of the first, popular mega churches in the metro area, reportedly owed more than $14 mortgage payment and other costs. The $20 million church foreclosed last fall and shut its doors for good.
Also, its pastor and founder, the reverend Jerry Johnston, also faced allegations he misused church money. Johnston denied the allegations. Now, months later, the Blue Valley School District is buying the former church for $9 million. Deputy superintendent D. Al Hanna, tells FOX 4 the district plans to turn the 51 acre site into an early childhood center for pre-schoolers with special needs.
“We think it’s a great location for us,” Hanna said. “It’s almost in the center of the school district.”
The school district will pay for the mega purchase through a 2012 bond. Additionally, the new childhood center will provide more space for staff members to interact with the students. The “parents as teachers program” will also move into the new center which is slated to open in August, 2014.