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David Madore buys Living Hope Church for $4.7M

By , Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith
2 Photos
Clark County Councilor David Madore's LLC, Madore Properties, purchased Living Hope Church and its parking lot for $4.7 million.
Clark County Councilor David Madore's LLC, Madore Properties, purchased Living Hope Church and its parking lot for $4.7 million. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Madore Properties, an LLC owned by David Madore, has purchased Living Hope Church for $4,746,700.

The Clark County councilor and U.S. Digital CEO bought the property, including the main building and the parking lot, on Oct. 14, according to a real estate excise affidavit signed by Madore and Kenny Fritzler, chair of the church’s board. Living Hope occupies a former Kmart building at 2711 N.E. Andresen Road, and there’s a neighboring chapel, too.

Madore, administrators at Living Hope and the church’s attorney, Jim David, were not available for comment Tuesday.

The sale will financially aid the struggling church.

After its former lead pastor John Bishop stepped down about one year ago citing moral indiscretions, it was discovered that the church had financial problems. His wife, Michelle Bishop, who was also a pastor, asked for a financial audit and then stepped down about a month later.

“We no longer have to worry about where we’re going to be or what we’re going to do. What we’re going to do is concentrate totally on fulfilling Matthew 28 — preaching the gospel to the lost and making disciples,” Mike Miller said in a recording of the church’s Oct. 16th service. He’s Living Hope’s current lead pastor and said Living Hope was paying $20,000 on the loan for the building.

Living Hope bought the building in 2011 during John Bishop’s tenure. In October of that year, just before closing on the sale of the building, Bishop told The Columbian he had $5.2 million in donations and investments in the bank raised during a 9-month fundraising effort.

The bulk of the money — approximately $3.5 million — was raised by 129 of Living Hope’s wealthier congregants who invested in Living Hope Promised Land, a homegrown real estate company.

The proceeds from the October sale to Madore will pay the full balance owed to Living Hope Promised Land, and Living Hope will remain in the same building. The church will cover utilities, building maintenance and property taxes, but won’t owe Madore any additional rent. As part of the agreement, Living Hope has 15 years to buy back the building for the same price; the price would be brought down if any frontage property is sold.

“God is just doing miraculous things for this church,” Miller said in a recording of the Nov. 6 church service. “God just steps in and just pays off our debt.”

Miller also said that the pastor of another, smaller church contacted him, wondering if the two churches could merge. That church would sell its property and donate $2 million to remodel Living Hope’s facility.

“It’s not a done deal, but we’re talking about it,” Miller said Nov. 6. “We want to do this so we can reach more, touch more, change more lives.”

Before Living Hope bought the property, it was owned by Kuni Enterprises, which once intended to open a car dealership there. Kuni abandoned its plan and started leasing the building to Living Hope.

“I am a firm believer that God provides,” Miller said. “God says if you do what I’ve asked you to do … if you preach the gospel to the lost, if you make disciples … I will pour out my blessings. I’ll do the rest of it.”

At one point, Cornerstone Christian School considered buying Living Hope Church and turning it into a new school. Cornerstone worked with Tiland Schmidt Architects, the firm behind Grand Central shopping center, to design how that sort of school would look. But the idea was nixed.

Living Hope opened in 1996 and is known as a church for people who don’t do traditional church and may need second chances and grace. It historically hosted 3,000 people each week during services, making it one of the larger churches in Clark County.

Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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