Dec. 1, 2016 was historic for the Grand Junction Church. On that day Colorado Mesa University purchased the 2.3 acres where the church, Intermountain Adventist Academy and Little Lambs Learning Center childcare property are currently located for the appraised value of $4.1 million for CMU’s planned campus expansion.

On that same day, GJ SDA Church closed on the purchase of 11 acres of beautiful, flat, accessible, irrigated property in the heart of Grand Junction about a mile and a half from its existing location. The property, which was unlisted, was greatly desired by local developers who had tried to purchase it for years from owners who did not want to sell. When Dan Watson, realtor and church and building committee member, discussed the needs of the Grand Junction Church with the owners, they felt that our church and school would best fit their property. They agreed to sell it for $1.1 million, a price significantly below the appraised value, and were overjoyed that the GJ SDA campus would relocate there.

The projected building cost is $7.2 million, which covers the land, buildings, site improvements, and soft costs, including audio-visual, information technology, security, phone systems, furniture and interior decor.

In addition to the proceeds from the sale of the property, a faith promise fund-raising program was initiated to raise $1.5 million by the end of 2016. The remaining $1.6 million will be obtained by securing a long-term loan. As of Dec. 24, 2016, a total of $241,898 had been raised.

The school building has been leased back to GJ SDA by CMU until the end of the school year; the church until December 2017; and day care until March 2018.

Teams from Maranatha Volunteers International are scheduled to arrive April 30 and be on site through June 11. Work by these volunteers, led by construction superintendent Gary Ross, will save about $350,000. The savings will be used as a contingency for future unforeseen expenses.

We invite alumni of IAA/IJA and former GJ SDA church members to become involved in the building project, either financially or by volunteering on a construction team—through Maranatha or privately. Any help will be greatly appreciated. IAA alumni can contact Laurie Kunze at 970.245.3784 or email

Other donations can be made by sending a check payable to GJ SDA Church designated “Time to Build” or by going to, registering at “Adventist Giving” and designating “New Building Fund.”

Ron Johnson is a member of the Grand Junction Church.