HIGH POINT — High Point University will buy a church across the street from its main campus.
The university announced Monday that it will purchase Christ United Methodist Church at 1300 N. University Parkway and East Lexington Avenue for $2.75 million.
HPU said it has no immediate plans for the property. In a news release, the university of 5,200 students called the purchase "a long-term investment to support a growing HPU."
The church sits diagonally across University Parkway from HPU's new basketball arena, conference center and hotel complex that's now under construction and scheduled to open in 2020. It's also adjacent to a pair of apartment complexes that HPU owns and uses to house its students.
In a statement, senior pastor Keith Sexton said Christ United Methodist Church approached HPU about buying the 7.8-acre property. The church had previously announced it was moving out of its facility and has been seeking a buyer since February. Church members approved the HPU deal Sunday.
Christ United Methodist Church will continue holding Sunday services at its current location through the end of 2019. The church's daycare program will stay at the site rent-free through next June.
The church in the meantime is looking for a smaller facility nearby, Sexton said in a telephone interview Monday.
"Our goal is to find a space that fits the mission of the church and serves the community six days a week," Sexton said. "We're in a good place. This is a good thing."
Christ United Methodist was founded as College Village Methodist Church in 1959 and took its current name in 1971 when it merged with the former South Main United Methodist Church. The church opened its first sanctuary on the University Parkway site in 1965. The current 525-seat sanctuary opened in 1978, according to a history of the church published in 1989.
The church now has more than 200 active members, Sexton said.
This is High Point University's second major property purchase near campus in 2019.
In March, the university announced that it bought the College Village Shopping Center at 1107 E. Lexington Ave., just north of its main campus. The university said it had no immediate plans for the shopping center other than to make minor repairs and to continue to use it for parking for campus events.
Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.