ALCOA, Tenn. (April 21, 2016) -- The Holston Conference episcopal residence is for sale and a housing allowance for Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor has been set in a decision arranged and approved by three conference agencies.
David McLain, chair of the Board of Trustees, said that a “for sale” sign was recently posted in front of the 3,800-square foot home in Maryville as part of a “sound financial move.”
“We looked at all aspects of it,” McLain said. “It shouldn’t cost the conference any more money. It should save money.”
Funds from the sale of the house, purchased by Holston Conference for $355,000 in 2012, will be invested to provide for the bishop’s housing allowance, set at $30,000 annually, McLain said.
“It gets us out of the business of paying for insurance, repairs, and utilities,” he said.
The housing allowance also provides an opportunity to build equity in a retirement home, he said. “We feel it’s in the best interest of our pastors, especially our senior pastors, to have some equity in a house before they retire.”
He added, “It will help our future bishops, and it will help this bishop.”
The episcopal residence is currently listed at $419,000, he said. The house was built in 2002.
Mary Frances Tucker, chair of the Episcopal Residence Committee, said that her committee brought the recommendation to sell the current parsonage to the Board of Trustees in 2015.
Needed repairs and additions to the house were so costly, "it wasn’t feasible," Tucker said.
The Book of Discipline requires the conference to provide a house for its episcopal leader, McLain said. The Board of Trustees applied for an exemption to the rule and received written authorization from the General Council on Finance and Administration to provide a housing allowance for the bishop, he said.
The proposal to sell the house and provide a housing allowance was approved by the Board of Trustees and the Extended Cabinet, McLain said.
"Bishop's home: New Maryville location closer to conference office" (9/11/12)
"Episcopal Fund FAQ," (GCFA)
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.