The Herald Bulletin

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Local News

May 25, 2013

Lindberg church, school may be moving

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Lindberg Road Church of Christ and the Anderson Christian School will likely move following a bankruptcy ruling last month.

The long, complicated court battle with STAR Financial Bank stemmed from a line of credit Lindberg took out in 2007 to expand its child care center and remodel the independent school.

The loan was backed by life insurance policies on 11 of the church’s older members — a plan that soured when there was no market to sell the policies and “the insureds continued to live,” according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Lindberg’s attorney proposed a plan to restructure the church’s roughly $2.5 million repayment, but it was denied by the court.

Church elder Stephen Gasaway said Lindberg’s leadership knows the plan “was too good to be true and it shouldn’t have been done.” But it was, and now he and other new elders have inherited the consequences — and some tough decisions.

That could mean turning over 2625 Lindberg Road, which houses both Lindberg and the roughly 300-student Anderson Christian School.

Gasaway said the church was trying to schedule a meeting with the bank to discuss an exit strategy.

He said the church will find a new space to house its roughly 250 average attendance, although they don’t know where or when. “We plan to continue to serve the community as best we can,” he said.

School administrator Tom Snell said the school is still weighing its options. It could try to raise enough money to buy the building from the bank, but with appraisal estimates ranging from roughly $1 million to $2 million, he said, “I don’t know that we’ll be able to come up with that” via the school’s main sources of income, tuition and donations.

The more likely option is moving to another building.

Snell said the “worst-case scenario” would be closure, but he doesn’t see that happening.

“We’re confident we’re an important part of this community,” he said, “And we don’t know what God will do, but we don’t want to close, even temporarily.”

Whatever happens, the church and school will part ways.

“It’s terrible to have to separate,” Gasaway said. “There’s a lot of sweat and blood in it.”

Like Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @BayleeNPulliam, or call 648-4250.

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