CLINTON, Iowa -
River Church is paying more than $500,000 for some 68 acres to build a new church in the coming year.
It's becoming the first owners of former Ashford University property since developers began to market the shuttered campus and additional land.
River Church already knows how to use unusual spaces. After transforming an industrial building two years ago, nearly 800 people now fill the seats each weekend.
But short on parking at its 823 S. 3rd Street location, this church continues to expand while running out of room.
That's why it's planning to make the move to a former golf course.
"There's a natural ridge that goes through close to the middle of the property," said Operations Director Chad Kisner. "That's about where we want to put the first building."
This is the first sale made by Clinton Catalyst, made up of three Oregon-based investors, which bought the campus and property for $1.6 million.
The investors are also working to sell the campus, athletic complex and hotel.
The sold site will go from former country club to church.
River Church plans to build a new sanctuary on the land, making the most of its trees and greenery.
"As far as aesthetics, very simple cement floors, steel beams and pallet wood go quite a long way," he continued.
The deal keeps this land with local owners in Clinton.
"Everybody is welcome," he said. "Everybody is needed, and everybody is changed."
A philosophy for River Church that offers room to grow.