On Sunday, February 16 a Church of God congregation in Ooltewah, Tennessee, announced the impending acquisition of most of the current Tennessee Temple campus in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The announcement was made by Kevin Wallace, senior pastor of Redemption Point Church during Sunday morning services. The agreement, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of TTU, would be in addition to a transaction made last year where Redemption Point purchased three buildings totaling almost 80,000 square feet on Bailey Avenue in Chattanooga. That sale included the Chauncey-Goode Auditorium, Phillips Chapel, and the Hancock Building, all part of the former Highland park Baptist Church which is now Church of the Highlands. Church of the Highlands has relocated to the Harrison Bay area.
The combined ministries of Redemption Point are now called Redemption to the Nations and includes both campuses in Ooltewah and Chattanooga. Since last year, Redemption Point has been operating a satellite campus at the former Highland Park location to ease overcrowding in Ooltewah, a community located north of Chattanooga.
According to a news release from Tennessee Temple University, the school will not be closing, but moving to a new location during the next year. The school was established in 1946 and has had a storied history over the past 68 years. At its peak, student enrollment topped 4,000. TTU has also been one of the chief athletic rivals of Lee University through the years. Most alumni, particularly of the 1970s and 1980s, will recall basketball games where every match would attract a full house of intense fans on both sides.
In a statement released by the school, officials said, “Tennessee Temple University and Redemption to the Nations have announced a tentative agreement for the sale of several of the TTU campus buildings and properties…The purchase by Redemption to the Nations would allow TTU to remain at the current location until June 2015. TTU anticipates being relocated to a new site by that date.”
In the release, TTU quoted Wallace as saying, “Over the past 67 years, Tennessee Temple University has been a significant part of the Chattanooga story. It is exciting to see this new chapter unfolding for (TTU President) Dr. Echols and the entire Tennessee Temple University family. As we move forward in this historic transition, Redemption to the Nations is grateful to God for this open door of opportunity. “
“The acquisition of these facilities will provide the ability to do even more for the inner city communities of Chattanooga,” Wallace continued. “We look forward to seeing the Kingdom of God advanced through this process in the Tennessee Temple University ministry and the Redemption to the Nations ministry as well. To God be the glory!”
Dr. Steve Echols, president of TTU, commented, “The leadership of TTU is delighted that these purchased buildings and properties will be utilized to minister to the community. We believe that the heart for urban ministry that Pastor Wallace and Redemption to the Nations have demonstrated will be a blessing to the Highland Park area. We believe God has great things in store for both ministries!”