House of faith and families

On the border of San Francisco’s Mission and Noe Valley neighborhoods, a church with a two-unit parsonage is up for sale. For once, this isn’t bad news.

The First Church of God, a non-denominational Christian church founded in 1867 by German Methodists, is selling its classic 1903 house of worship at 3276 Cesar Chavez St. to finance a new purchase in the South of Market area.

The congregation has been called to service in that rougher neighborhood since 1984, according to pastor Mike Moberg, and presently operates the City Crossroads after-school center at 160 Sixth St.

In addition to basketball, tutoring, hot meals and table games for local youth, the church also been using the Sixth Street location for worship services since June, and wants to buy a property nearby. The Cesar Chavez location is temporarily leased to another church, the 40-person Abounding Grace congregation.

“We love this neighborhood, but we understand that we’ve been most effective for the things we’ve undertaken since 1984,” Moberg said.

There are a lot of possibilities for the property the church will leave behind, though Moberg said they’d like to see it continue as a “house of faith” if possible.

Since it went on the market this month, it’s been viewed by Christian and Buddhist groups, architecture firms and people who see the church as a “cool residential space,” Pacific Union real estate agent Joske Thompson said.

He also said it was suited for nonprofit use; it previously housed a day care center.

The property consists of two lots, which are being sold together. The church building is approximately 28,000 square feet, Thompson said, with a sanctuary that seats 120, a choir loft, a kitchen, a fellowship hall, men’s and women’s restrooms and a 1905 Hinners pipe organ hand-built in Chicago for the church and installed by Schoenstein’s, the premier San Francisco organ builders of the time.

The parsonage in back has two units, each with three bedrooms and one bath that have been occupied by Moberg and his family. The combined properties have parking for six, plus a garage.

WHERE: San Francisco

ASKING PRICE: $2,395,000 · PROPERTY TAX: None, if it remains a church

THE PROPERTY: Two 3-bedroom, 1-bath units, around 1,200 square feet each; plus one 28,000 square-foot church.

amenities: Pipe organ, stained glass windows, pews, pleasant neighborhood, new exterior paint on units, roofs recently redone, new front stairs, railing and ramps on church.

Agents: Joske Thompson, Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate (415) 345-3100

*Estimate based on 1.3% of asking price.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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