Munger Real Estate Miracle

by Andrew Forrest

If I hadn’t seen this happen with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it….

The Problem

Munger is a landlocked urban congregation in a neighborhood that is becoming more and more popular with young professionals and families, and it’s obvious to everyone that if we are going to reach and serve our neighborhood, we’re going to need more land. So, several years ago, we started praying about possibilities. But, the land around us was owned by many different parties–none of whom wanted to sell or even talk about selling–and valued at millions of dollars–which we didn’t have.

And so, of January 1, 2017, this is the extent of the real estate Munger owned in Old East Dallas:

Munger real estate as of 1/1/17


The Process

The first domino that needed to fall was the purchase of two boarding houses that abutted our property. But, the owner didn’t live in Dallas, and she was completely unresponsive. One of our members ended up driving out into the country and taping a letter to her fence. She subsequently called him and told him she would never sell to us.

And then, months later, she called him again and said that she felt that God was telling her she ought to sell to the church.

Her price was $2 million, which we didn’t have. Why so expensive? Well, the boarding houses brought in an annual income of $200,000, so the owner was selling a valuable income stream, even though we only wanted the dirt, not the buildings.

I stood before our congregation in October 2016 and told them we needed to raise $2 million in cash by Christmas. I had no idea if it were possible, but I knew it was the faithful thing to do.

Well, people stepped up and the Lord provided the $2 million! (I still can’t believe it.) And so, in January 2017, we purchased the boarding houses in cash.

Repeat

Owning those boarding houses was the first step, but we still had a long way to go. It turned out, however, that the way things happened with the boarding houses was the way they took place with the other real estate parcels:

  • We contacted owners who told us they would never sell;
  • Subsequently, they changed their minds;
  • But we didn’t have the funds to buy;
  • God provided the funds somehow;
  • We gained the property.

Parcel after parcel, that’s how it happened.

Munger Real Estate Miracle

And so here’s what we own today, just 2.5 years later:

Munger real estate today, June 2019

[A quick note on the image above: in the bottom left, there is a building partially colored with a yellow checkerboard pattern. That building contains 8 townhomes, 2 of which we own outright. Of the remaining 6 townhomes, the owner has given us a right of first refusal for the next 30 years.]

Side-by-Side Comparison


The Stats

In summary, we:

  • Doubled our acreage;
  • Gained $7 million of real estate, which we either purchased in cash (!) or were given outright by generous Mungarians, meaning we have no debt whatsoever;
  • Prepared a master plan to set us up for the next 50 years.

And all of this happened in just 2.5 years!

When I say this is a miracle, I mean it literally: you can’t explain it in human terms only.

What’s Next?

I don’t know why the Lord has been blessing us so richly, but I do know that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of what we’ve received. We have a really exciting master plan, and God willing, the potential is huge.

Expect great things!

P.S.

There is a small group of people without whose hard work and extravagant generosity this wouldn’t have happened. You know who you are, and so does God. Thank you.


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5 comments

Melinda Smith June 28, 2019 - 7:22 am

Praise God!

Reply
Karla Hilbourn June 28, 2019 - 8:22 am

Andrew, you totally amaze me! I love reading your blogs and watching your videos. You are a wonderful young man and so truly believe in God and what he grants us! Your parents should be extremely proud of you! If I lived nearby (which, of course, I don’t … I still live in York County) I wholeheartedly would join your church…..just to hear you and watch you speak. You speak with the same passion your dad did. Keep up God’s work, and may God bless you daily!!!

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Joan K and O. L. Davis, Jr. June 28, 2019 - 8:32 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! We am thrilled to learn of the future service of Munger Place. What generosity! What views of the future! We are members of HPUMC and view the 9:3 am service at Belmont Village. We are proud of HPUMC’s outreach. Our very best wishes.

Reply
Cathy Isaacs June 29, 2019 - 1:35 pm

This is awesome! We have recently moved to Dallas visited the church with our daughter and grandson and have decided it will be a great place for our family. I believe God has led us to this congregation!

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