Local News in Brief : First Baptist to Sell Van Nuys Property to Foursquare Group

The 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Van Nuys will sell its building and 11 acres at 14800 Sherman Way to the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, also known as the Church on the Way, for $11 million, a First Baptist official said Monday.

The congregations of both churches have approved the sale, and have scheduled a contract-signing ceremony Sunday, said the Rev. Jim Rives, First Baptist's executive pastor.

The sale will enable the Baptist church, led by the Rev. Jess Moody, to move to Chatsworth in 1989, Rives said. The church plans to build a sanctuary, Sunday school, offices and other facilities on 25 acres that straddle the Simi Valley Freeway between Winnetka and Corbin avenues.

Attempts by First Baptist last year to build near affluent Monteria Estates in Chatsworth were quashed under opposition from neighbors concerned over traffic from the church. No similar opposition to the current plan, which calls for building in a relatively undeveloped area, has surfaced.

The church must obtain a conditional-use permit from the city before construction can begin. The First Foursquare Church will not take over the Sherman Way site until Moody's church leaves in 1989, Rives said.

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