On Friday, July 5, 2013, the United States Bethel family was thrilled to hear Anthony Morris of the Governing Body make the following announcement: “An agreement has been reached to sell the six buildings comprising the 117 Adams Street and 90 Sands Street complex in Brooklyn. * The sale of Buildings 1 to 5 requires that we vacate them by mid-August of this year.”
It was clear that this would be a huge undertaking. The total floor space of those five buildings is an area equivalent to 11 soccer fields of the size used for international matches! And the buildings had to be vacated in 60 days!
For decades, Buildings 1 to 5 housed printing presses and bookbinding equipment, but in 2004 this equipment was moved to a new location in Wallkill, New York.
Since then, the buildings have served as a storage-and-maintenance facility, filled with construction materials, office furniture, and equipment used to support construction projects in the United States and abroad.
To vacate the buildings within the allotted time, meticulous planning was necessary. First, an inventory of the buildings’ contents was taken to determine what would be sold, scrapped, or saved. Next, arrangements were made to accomplish the task in a manner that was both safe and efficient.
The Bethel family worked hard to support the project. Additionally, 41 temporary volunteers were invited to come to Bethel to assist. The volunteers came from many parts of the United States. Most were strong, single young men. They accepted the invitation to come for between six and ten weeks, leaving families, friends, and jobs in order to work at Bethel. How did they feel about the assignment?
Jordan, who is 21 years old, came from Washington State. He said: “I wish I’d put my application in sooner.”
Steven, 20, came from Texas. He said: “I feel I’m part of a big, hardworking, happy family that spans the world.”
Justin, 23, wrote: “Here at Bethel, I feel at home. The wealth of spiritual wisdom, love, and fellowship at Bethel is marvelous.”
Adler, 20, who came from Puerto Rico, said: “Getting up early in the morning has been a challenge, but I’ve been able to forge friendships that will last forever.”
William, who is 21 years old, said: “Coming to Bethel has been a dream of mine since I was little. I thought I was going to feel lost or alone, but I was completely wrong. Bethel has been the best experience of my life! I can’t even begin to imagine anything better than being here.”
Did the team of willing workers meet the deadline? Yes, they did—in just 55 days.
^ par. 2 The 90 Sands Street residence building will be vacated during 2017.