Local pastors bypass realtors, strike deal on church swap

Million dollar listing from heaven: Local pastors bypass realtors, agree to church swap

Two local pastors might not dress as slickly as the hot-shot realtors on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, but they apparently have the chops to land a big deal.

The leaders of Bay Hills Community Church, which is searching for a new location for its growing membership, and First Baptist Church of El Sobrante, which wants a smaller venue than its current location, have agreed to purchase each other’s church properties.

Bypassing realtors and their fees, Pastor David Fasold of Bay Hills  announced to his congregation last weekend that he has signed a contract to purchase the property at 4555 Hilltop Dr. from First Baptist Church, which is headed by Pastor Charlie Nason.

As part of the deal, First Baptist Church will purchase a smaller property at 4950 Appian Way in El Sobrante that Bay Hills had long ago outgrown and moved from, Fasold said.

Fasold explains the deal in a video sermon posted on the church’s Facebook page Monday (see video below).

Currently, Bay Hills has been operating out of an old Circuit City building at 4100 Klose Way in Richmond, but the congregation recently learned that an LA Fitness gym may soon take over the space. After a desperate search throughout the region for a more permanent location failed, Fasold was paid a visit by Pastor Nason and his daughter.

Nason’s congregation of about 35 did not need its 350-seat venue at 4555 Hilltop and preferred a smaller location, Fasold said.

The deal was ideal for both congregations and a gift from God, Fasold says. And of course there’s the added bonus:

“We have no realtor fees because two pastors have worked out this deal, not realtors,” said Fasold.

Bay Hills has owned the Appian Way property since 1945, but after outgrowing the space the congregation operated for six years out of the gymnasium of El Sobrante Christian School. Thereafter, the church moved into the old Circuit City location at a rather cheap price of $7,500 monthly.

“The price for our building at Circuit City is $70,0000 a month market value,” Fasold said.

Of course, the cheap rent came with a condition: The management company could give the church 30 days notice at any time if another tenant was willing to pay that market value, Fasold said.


With the LA Fitness deal imminent, Fasold said, the congregation moved into desperation mode, looking at various locations (all identified in the video), including the softball field at Collins Elementary, Mechanics Bank’s former headquarters at Hilltop and Contra Costa Times’ former building. None worked out.

Before the First Baptist Church deal came along, Fasold had conceded that he would, if necessary, move his congregation back to the Appian Way location and, to accommodate all parishioners, hold seven weekend services rather than three on Sundays.

Now that Bay Hills is set to move to the 4555 Hilltop Drive location, the congregation can hold three Sunday services and build upon 5 acres of unused land on the property, Fasold said.