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Rhodes To Purchase Evergreen Presbyterian Church Property and Update Campus Master Plan

Rhodes College and Evergreen Presbyterian Church have enjoyed a strong and meaningful partnership since 1947, when the church purchased its current property from the college. Since that time, the Memphis community has benefited from our respective and collaborative outreach efforts.

Recently, Rhodes has been in discussions with Evergreen leadership about opportunities to strengthen this long-term partnership and about the future of the church campus. The college and the congregation envision more opportunities for working together to meet the most pressing needs of our community. The congregation has made the decision to plan for its future ministries in ways that do not require the operation of a large church campus.

Accordingly, Evergreen and Rhodes have agreed to enter into an arrangement providing for the college’s acquisition of the property and a two-year transition period of continued church operations. During the two-year transition, Evergreen will continue to operate its ministries and make plans for its transition from the property while Rhodes updates its campus master plan.

The next steps are for Rhodes and Evergreen to execute a real estate contract followed by a due diligence period where a survey of the property is prepared, the buildings are examined and questions about future land use, zoning and environmental issues are investigated. After completing that process and when everything is deemed satisfactory, Rhodes will likely close on the purchase in late March 2013.

After closing, the college will begin the master planning process to determine how best to merge the property into its main campus. Simultaneously, the college will enter into a lease-back arrangement with the church for two years, during which time Evergreen will continue to use church facilities for worship, education and outreach. Rhodes will have the option during this period to use designated areas of the church and will provide additional service opportunities for its students as well as potential “swing space” for academic facility renovations.