Fayette County

Sale of historic building on Short Street put on hold by church

Central Christian Church has postponed making a decision about selling a historic building on Short Street that houses Central Christian Child Care Center.

A congregational meeting about the topic was scheduled for last Sunday, but it was canceled because of new information from the buyer, Central Christian senior minister Michael Mooty said Tuesday.

Talks are still in progress with downtown businessman Joe Rosenberg, and a decision "has been put on hold temporarily," Mooty said.

He declined to provide more information.

Rosenberg confirmed in May that he had made an offer to buy the building. A sales contract was signed but was contingent on the congregation's approval.

Rosenberg declined to give any information Tuesday about the status of the sale other than to say it was in the due diligence phase. He said Central Christian had until mid-September to make a decision.

Rosenberg said in May that he would use the building to house a non-profit organization and planned "not to tear it down but to keep it as an intact building."

The building, 266 East Short Street, was constructed in 1856 and housed the first African Baptist Church, the third-oldest black Baptist congregation in the United States and the oldest in Kentucky.

Central Christian has owned the building since 1986 and uses it for various church programs.

The child care center has been operating for about 21 years and is run independently from the church. The center is considering new locations in case Central Christian sells the building.

"It certainly is the church's mission to make sure that the day care can continue to thrive," Mooty said.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader