Staff Photo: Erin Evans.
Foreclosure proceedings were advertised last week for the Church In The Now property, located on Iris Drive and west of Salem Road, and then withdrawn Monday by creditors. The legal notice on Jan. 7 noted foreclosure was filed due to default toward payment on $18.5 million attached to the church's security deed. The church's creditor, Evangelical Christian Credit Union, gave no reason for withdrawing the foreclosure.
By Michelle Floyd
CONYERS -- Despite Church in the Now facing foreclosure, the Newton County School System still is planning to hold graduation ceremonies for its three high schools at the Conyers facility.
"We have been informed that despite the foreclosure status we will still be able to hold graduations there as arrangements were worked out with the lender," said Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at NCSS. "We have been in continual contact with Church in the Now and they have been very good about keeping us informed of the situation."
Graduations are scheduled at the church, located at 1877 Iris Drive S.E. in Conyers, at 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, for Alcovy High School; 10 a.m. Saturday, May 28, for Newton High School; and 4 p.m. Saturday, May 28, for Eastside High School.
NCSS graduation ceremonies have been held at the church for the past several years.
In May, members of the Newton County Board of Education requested that NCSS move the graduation ceremonies to Homer Sharp Stadium in Covington or the individual schools to save a budgeted $7,500 for use of the facilities.
However, Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for Operations, said Friday that it was not cost-effective to do so.
"Initially we decided to take graduation at Church in the Now out of the budget and utilize the general fund maintenance budget to create our own graduation ceremonies at Sharp Stadium," Carpenter said. "Upon examination of the logistics and costs associated with this change, we realized that it was not cost-effective to conduct graduations in this manner."
He said NCSS will pay $3,000 per ceremony, or $9,000 total, for the use of the CITN facilities this year.
"The issues (surrounding moving the graduations) included cost of rental of equipment ... and no clear contingency for bad weather," he said, adding that NCSS might have to pay for rental of tents, chairs, stages and video equipment, as well as overtime costs for employees. "Given this, we decided to utilize the same dollars in the maintenance budget to pay Church in the Now for a turn-key operation."
The church's mortgage holder, Evangelical Christian Credit Union, placed a foreclosure notice in the March 10 edition of the Rockdale Citizen, stating plans to sell the church following default the church's properties. If the foreclosure proceeds, the sale is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 5, on the steps of the Rockdale County Courthouse.
The three high schools in Rockdale County Public Schools hold their graduations at their school football stadiums.
Rockdale Citizen News Editor Jay Jones contributed to this article.