Another Southside religious organization has resorted to a last-minute bankruptcy filing to block a foreclosure of its property.
Southside Baptist Ministries, which operates a church, a private Christian school and other ventures, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday evening just hours before a foreclosure auction was set for its small campus at 5515 Bryce Lane, off Hull Street Road.
Its initial bankruptcy filing lists about a dozen creditors, the largest being M&T Bank, which has a debt claim of $1.6 million secured by Southside Baptist’s Bryce Lane real estate.
The organization also owes $74,500 to the IRS, $9,200 to the Virginia Department of Taxation and smaller amounts to various vendors.
The foreclosure on the nonprofit’s real estate had been set for 1 p.m. Thursday on the steps of the Richmond Circuit Court. Northern Virginia law firm Dunn, McCormack & MacPherson had been handling the auction process.
Southside Baptist Ministries’ campus consists of two buildings: an 8,300-square foot structure fronting Bryce Lane and a 12,200-square-foot building that sits behind it. The smaller of the two was built in 1980, while the larger one was constructed in 2000, city records show.
The property sits on 2.2 acres and was most recently assessed by the city at $1.95 million.
A message left for Southside Baptist Ministries founder Lonnie Stinson was not returned by press time.
Attorney Troy Savenko of Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank is representing the organization in its bankruptcy case. He confirmed that the filing is intended to buy the church time to attempt a resolution with the bank. He would not comment further without permission to do so from his client.
Stinson, according to the organization’s website, founded the church in 1987 after coming to Richmond from North Carolina. He opened Southside Baptist Christian School in 1999.
Southside Baptist Ministries is at least the third house of worship on the city’s Southside to seek the protection of bankruptcy in the face of foreclosure in recent years. Nearby Richmond Christian Center is close to emerging from Chapter 11 after nearly two years. It has a reorganization plan in the works that includes restructuring the loan with its main lender, which sought to foreclose on its property at 417 Cowardin Ave.
The previous owners of Muhammad Mosque No. 24 at 104 Cowardin St. went into bankruptcy in 2012 as a foreclosure loomed. That property has since been purchased by another church.