Citing financial pressures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Potter's House of Denver has decided to sell its 137,000-square-foot building and take its worship and other services to the community completely online. But Pastor Touré Roberts said the church's community outreach programs, including its food bank, will continue.
Roberts announced the church's decision Monday in an interview with The Denver Post.
The pastor said the ongoing pandemic along with the government shutdown of public worship services pushed the multicultural congregation toward putting its physical campus on the market. The property appraised last year for $12.2 million, according to the Post.
"COVID-19 forced every church in America to rethink how to best serve their parishioners and the broader community," Roberts told the newspaper. "Due to the inability to gather and the economic instability of the pandemic, our church, like many other churches in the nation, experienced declining donations."
The pastor explained instead of continuing the upkeep on an "old building that needed significant repairs," the congregation decided to stay virtual.
The megachurch had been at the same location for 32 years, the Post reported. First known as the Heritage Christian Center, it transformed into The Potter's House of Denver in 2010 with thousands of members assembling for worship services every week. The COVID pandemic forced the congregation to go completely online in 2021.
Roberts said the church would continue community outreach through its various programs.
"We decided that the best way forward would be to sell the property, continue our online offering that had proven a successful alternative, and maintain our hands-on community outreach operations, which includes our food bank that feeds thousands of families per year," the pastor told the Post.
The newspaper reported real estate developer DHI Communities has plans to build more than 500 residential paired homes and apartments on the 32-acre site, including a 5-acre park.
The Potter's House of Denver's decision to sell their physical facility is another example of the effect the pandemic has had on churches nationwide. Over the last year and a half, many houses of worship were forced to end in-person services, many changed course and switched to online streaming. Some churches adapted successfully while others struggled to conform and had to close their doors for good.
As CBN News reported in November, more than 4,000 churches closed in the U.S. in 2020 alone. Over that same time period, over 20,000 pastors left the ministry and 50 percent of current pastors say they would leave the ministry if they had another way of making a living, according to The Barna Group, the country's foremost researcher on religion.