Announcing the Katz Drugstore Purchase – Thursday, September 22, 2011

Andy Bean
September 22, 2011

On September 21st, 2011, Redeemer Fellowship purchased the historic Katz Drugstore building at 3948 Main St. in Kansas City, Mo.

In 2008, Redeemer Fellowship opened in the Westport neighborhood with a specific passion for the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of Kansas City. Since then we have only grown in our commitment to this vision, and have realized more deeply that real estate plays a significant role in the renewal that we long to see in our neighborhood.

We were saddened that the beautiful and historic Katz Drugstore has sat vacant, and we believe that the best-case scenario is when property is locally owned by someone with a vested interest in the community. In light of this, when the Katz Drugstore went up for auction, our leaders decided to make an offer on this property.

There are a few reasons why we purchased this property. First, we want to be able to contribute to cultural and community development efforts in Westport. The Katz building gives us the opportunity to explore ideas for art gallery space, job skill training, mediation, art classes for neighborhood students, and other cultural and community development initiatives.

Second, this will give us space to host community events. We’ve had many opportunities to host the community in our church building over the last three years and we have enjoyed every one of them. But there are limitations to holding “non-religious” events in an inherently “religious” building. The Katz property can serve as a better location for these community events and initiatives.

Finally, we feel that the Katz property will serve as a strategic way to use a “non-religious” building for occasional “religious” purposes. We hope that in the coming years our church will multiply into more churches who exist for God’s glory and the benefit of others, both in Kansas City and throughout the world. The Katz property can serve as a strategic space for the incubation of new church plants who may not have another place to meet, as well as create space for the development of a regional congregation strategy for Redeemer Fellowship.

We’ve been approached several times about buying neighboring properties and we’ve said no – we’re not looking to gather property or build some kind of “empire” at 39th & Main. However, we see this as a very strategic opportunity to add benefit and value to our neighborhood.

Our hope is that this building can regain its significance as a cultural and architectural landmark in Midtown. We’re in this for the long-haul; we love our neighborhood and long to see it thrive and flourish; and we hope that even those who disagree with what we believe can celebrate with us.

Leave a comment here or send us an email.

With you for Midtown,

– Redeemer Fellowship

7 Responses to “Announcing the Katz Drugstore Purchase – Thursday, September 22, 2011”

  1. Vern Barnet

    Redeemer Fellowship has a firmly established record of supporting and advancing the community, and the purchase of the historic Katz Drugstore property is just the latest example of its sense of responsibility to the neighborhood. Having the property owned locally is an extraordinary benefit, but just one of many arising from this transfer of ownership. Without ever pushing its particular theology, Redeemer Fellowship acts in the best tradition of all faiths and conscientious secular civic organizations in its concern for the life of the city and its citizens. Congratulations to Redeemer Fellowship, to all who love Westport, and to Kansas City for this auspicious announcement.

    The Rev Vern Barnet, DMn

  2. urban planner

    Ugh, you better not tear it down for freakin parking, or the old comic store strip either. That would be disastrous for the hood. This church is not good for the neighborhood. This is an urban area that needs streetfront development with parking in the rear, not churches with huge parking lots that rip out the urban fabric. If you are in need of parking, encourage your members to take the bus, or move to the suburbs

  3. Andy Bean

    Urban Planner,

    Thanks for sharing your concern. Don’t worry, this building isn’t going to be knocked down for parking.

    -Andy Bean

  4. urban planner

    What about the strip that had the old comic book store?

  5. Andy Bean

    No, there are no plans to demolish the shops on Main (that includes the old B-Bop store) that you’re talking about.


  6. Paijem

    VBS is definitely worth the efrfot probably more so than Sunday school. However, the question comes down to how it’s done. At the church I am at, we do it well but not properly! Every year we get an average of at least 60 kids attending our VBS. Of these 60 kids, about half of them come from a non-churched home! This presents us with such a great potential for outreach. However, our problem comes down to two things relationship and followup. In terms of relationship, I always have a hard time finding people to be guides to take the children around to each station. I either get people who show up for three days, but not the other two. When this happens, I have to scramble to find someone to fill their vacant position. This makes it difficult for me to assign one adult to five children for the entire week. This is very important because it gives the adult an opportunity to build a loving relationship with a small group of children over five days. This relationship is just as important as the Bible lesson they are learning. It is this relationship that will bring these children back for future events (family nights, Veggie Tales release parties, etc.) When these children receive an invitation from a leader who showed them the love of God, they are more likely to return mainly so they can see that adult again!Follow up is the other important part of VBS. Often we have the big event, we meet new children, we teach them God’s Word, but then we just let them go from there and pray that God’s Word does its work. But I believe our seed planting at VBS has only just begun! In order for VBS to reach it’s full potential, it is important for any church to have a systematic follow up plan. This can be something simple like a Thank you card sent after the VBS, or an invitation to some kind of family fun event hosted by the church. This will assist in bringing children (and hopefully their parents) back to hear more about God’s Word.

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