Although it remains part of the ministry at First Baptist Church, Familia Cristiana Internacional will close on a new home Thursday.
The Baptist Church on Sunday approved the purchase of the old Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at 821 Magnolia Place in Jefferson City, First Baptist Church Lead Pastor Doyle Sager said.
"They are still a mission of the Baptist Church," Sager said. "But they now have more autonomy. They don't have to coordinate around our schedule."
People involved in the vote saw it as a celebration of the growth of the Hispanic congregation.
Familia Cristiana Internacional Pastor Noah Angel said he and his 60-member congregation are looking forward to having their own place for worship.
They are paying $98,000 for the structure.
"They were asking more money for it than that," Angel said. "We were patient and waited a few years."
Over the years, the new owners of the building had come back to look at it. It always seemed to fit their needs.
"The building needs some TLC," Angel said. "Some bathroom work. The electrical systems — some HVAC maintenance. They are very simple things that can be fixed."
The move is a sign of progress for Familia Cristiana Internacional and the Baptist Church, Sager said.
They are part of the Baptist Church congregation, so the church had to approve the funding.
"I told the congregation that it's like when your teenager moves out and gets their own place," Sager said. "It's their autonomy and independence, and you're still proud of them."
There is also excitement, Angel said. He compared the feeling to homeownership.
"Now I'm responsible for everything, the utilities and the insurance bills," he said.
The new owners haven't set a date to begin holding services at their new home.
First they have to raise enough money to make some basic repairs, Angel said.