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UNCI to move Dec. 31 to new home at former Richmond Christian Center

Jeremy Lazarus | 12/29/2017, 12:49 p.m.
The Richmond Christian Center will end the year as the new home of United Nations Church International. The founder and ...
Richmond Christian Center at 214 Cowardin Ave. in South Side. Sandra Sellars/Richmond Free Press

The Richmond Christian Center will end the year as the new home of United Nations Church International.

The founder and pastor, Bishop Orrin K. Pullings Sr., and his wife and co-pastor, Dr. Medina Pullings, will lead the 700-member UNCI congregation in a procession from their current building at 5200 Midlothian Turnpike to their new, larger sanctuary at 214 Cowardin Ave. around 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.

“We are moving forward in faith and confidence in our future,” said Bishop Pullings, who oversees the Richmond church and affiliated churches in five other cities.

However, for now, UNCI will be leasing the RCC property instead of buying it as the result of a fresh twist in the Richmond Christian Center’s long-running bankruptcy case.

UNCI agreed to purchase the Richmond Christian Center for about $3 million in a bankruptcy sale, but has been unable to complete the purchase after the founder and former pastor of RCC, Stephen A. Parson Sr., appealed the bankruptcy court’s approval of the sale to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Parson alleges that the bankruptcy court erred in denying him an opportunity to pay off creditors and retake control of the property. He wants the appellate court to overturn the sale.

Until that appeal is resolved, UNCI agreed to lease the Richmond Christian Center property, having already sold the Midlothian Turnpike property that it occupied for 12 years to The Liberation Church Inc. for $1.2 million, according to city records.

The Liberation Church, currently located in the 1200 block of Hull Street, offers family counseling services, behavioral health services and mental health care and treatment.