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Oxford First United Methodist to build new church on Old Sardis Road

Oxford First United Methodist Church is planning to relocate from its current location on Molly Barr Road to a brand new building on about five acres of land.

The church is looking to relocate to an area on Old Sardis Road, on County Road 142 off of Highway 314, with the new building eyeing a completion date in August 2019, according to First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees Chair, Jimmy McGlawn.

The current church on Molly Barr will be torn down in order to create two new condominiums. The Oxford Planning Commission approved the plans for the condominiums during its Monday evening meeting.

According to McGlawn, The New Albany District of the Methodist Church was the approving body instead of the City or County. In the meantime, the church will move to a temporary site for six months while the new church is being built.

McGlawn also noted Heritage Development was contracted to build the new church.

First United Methodist Church has been on Molly Barr Road since construction was completed at the site in 1974.

According to a presentation First United Methodist gave to the New Albany District, the church on Molly Barr Road was on 2.1 acres when it was built. When the area was re-surveyed around 2016, that area was reduced to 1.4 acres

The presentation also says the land on Old Sardis road was acquired in a land swap for the condominiums with Brian Development.

The church will give the current buildings, which are to be torn down, and 1.4 acres of property to Brian Development. In return the church will receive “free and clear” 5 acres of land, 8,400 square-feet for the church with a sanctuary, a fellowship hall, classrooms, administrative offices and $230 K in allowances, according to the presentation.

The presentation says the cost of the project will total around $1.5 million, which will be funded with the land swap, requiring no out-of-pocket funding.

The new church will have a 120-day timeline from contract signed to completion of new church building, according to the presentation.

With the new building, the church is hoping to add multiple ministries and programs, such as a college ministry, a community food program and a prayer ministry.

This would go along with their current ministries, which include a GED program, youth ministries and Soup for Seniors, which serves 40-60 seniors per month.

First United Methodist determined it needed a different building since 2015, when Burns Methodist and Hammet Methodist merged their churches to form First United Methodist.

In 2015, First United Methodist Church had lined up a buyer that would have purchased the property on Molly Barr Road and allow the church to move outside the city limits.

However, the buyer was not able to get their plans approved by the City of Oxford, and First United Methodist began exploring other options in 2017.