St. Stephen Lutheran Church in escrow to sell campus on East Mission Road
St. Stephen Lutheran Church has entered into an agreement to sell its Mission Road campus to the Fallbrook Regional Health District. The congregation’s leadership expect the transaction to be completed by the end of April, 2018. “Our congregation has approved the deal with their full support,” said Rev. Caleb Bassett, the congregation’s pastor since 2010. “We’re looking forward to continuing our ministry at a more suitable location.”
The 4.65 acre campus on East Mission Road is defined by a large school building, playgrounds, and athletic fields, all of which were vital to the congregation’s elementary school and preschool, which the church operated for more than three decades. But after the school closed in 2015 the congregation had far more interior square footage and exterior acreage than it could reasonably use. “The school was a valuable part of our ministry for 35 years, but when it closed we needed a new strategy,” said Bassett. “We adopted a plan to explore relocation by 2018. This purchase agreement gives us the opportunity we were looking for.”
The congregation initially sought a tenant for the vacant school building and unused outdoor space, but had difficulty securing a long-term occupant. When the congregation decided to test the market for a sale, Fallbrook Regional Health District showed interest. “While the size of the buildings and scope of the property are more than we need, it seems the setting is ideal for what Fallbrook Regional Health District has planned for the location,” said Bassett. “Community is one of the core values of St. Stephen Lutheran, so we’re happy that this property can continue to serve the needs of our neighbors.”
Since 1974 St. Stephen Lutheran Church has served the people of Fallbrook in answer to the call of Jesus to love our neighbors. During four decades of ministry the congregation has trained hundreds of children through its elementary school and played a vital role in the establishment of two new churches in the region. Today the congregation seeks to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and embody his teachings by meeting the needs of Fallbrook with thoughtful engagement, courageous service, and the unique peace of forgiveness.