It hit me as I left the elevator, if everything goes through on this, New City will have invested over a million dollars in downtown Macon real estate. That doesn't take into account other spending in downtown and jobs brought to downtown, but that's not the "more" of the title.
The "more" is The 567. New City Church started The 567 six years ago as an outreach to our city and as a means to help facilitate city renewal through art and music. The 567 has been more than New City dreamed it would be. We have had thousands come through our doors for art shows, art classes, business development and concerts. We have been a huge part of the Bragg Jam Music Festival as well as the Macon Film Festival. We've hosted concerts for local musicians, touring musicians and some not really musicians musicians. We've helped non-profits raise money for charities. We've been a big part of downtown's revival. Melissa Macker has done a tremendous job with almost no pay and even less of a budget! I can't leave out Beth Smith or Deonna Belcher - huge supporters and very hard workers... and they have all put together a long list of volunteers who have served Macon well. And because of this, there is "MORE..."
With the growing likelihood of a move, I am often asked, "What will happen to The 567?" While we aren't certain of what the next steps will be for The 567, there seem to be some wonderful possibilities. The community is rallying to make sure that what has started with The 567 continues. There have been offers to partner in some form with The 567 to stay in its current locations, other options have included purchasing a smaller building with help on the financing. One group even suggested that there may be some help available for 567 operating costs. What a testimony! The community sees the value that has been added through The 567 and is rallying to see this work continue!
How amazing would it be for The 567 to purchase its own building and not only continue as The 567, but grow as separate organization working for the good of the city?
That would bring New City's real estate investment downtown to just at or over $1,000,000. It would also mean that the small group of about 10 families that first gathered 8 years ago to talk about a new church will have seen 3 churches birthed and been a huge part of the creation and growth of an art and music organization bringing thousands into downtown Macon and helping to shape it's new culture.
That is amazing.
That is what God can do.