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Church of the Highlands buys property for college campus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — One of the nation’s largest churches continues buying property for a planned new campus for Highlands College, which trains ministers.

Church of the Highlands is purchasing the land near the former Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham, reported.

The church this month closed on a deal to pay $32 million for an office building, parking deck and land, real estate records show. The church also purchased additional land and a warehouse for $2.925 million.

Highlands College last year announced plans to move its campus by 2021 to the area where the land is being purchased and double its enrollment. There are plans for eventually adding student housing to the site.

“This location is perfectly suited for a college campus and relocating there will elevate our visibility within the community,” according to a statement on the school’s web site. “The Grandview location will give us the capacity to create a true college campus designed to promote community with state-of-the-art learning facilities and a beautiful green space that transforms the property into a walkable campus.”

Highlands College had 371 traditional students, 701 evening students and 75 interns in ministry training at the school, according to the church’s 2019 annual report.

Weekly attendance at the Church of the Highlands has grown to more than 50,000 at all its campuses combined, according to its latest year-end annual report.

Founding Pastor Chris Hodges has his weekly sermons streamed by video to branches from Huntsville to Mobile and Tuscaloosa to Columbus, Georgia.

Weekly attendance at all 21 branch locations combined is 52,163, according to the church’s latest annual report.

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