Church of God Wants to Move HQ
By ANDY FIXMER
The Worldwide Church of God is negotiating for the purchase of a 50,000-square-foot office and light industrial building near the intersection of Route 66 and Lone Hill Avenue in Glendora to serve as its new headquarters.
The site, at 2011 E. Financial Way, is home to Caltrol Inc., a maker of industrial valves and ball bearings that is moving to Las Vegas. Duane Dudley, Caltrol’s chief operating officer, did not respond to a request for comment. The value of the deal, expected to close in the next 60 days, was not disclosed.
When it closes, the transaction will mark the close of the church’s long history in the heart of Pasadena, where at its zenith it built a lushly landscaped 48-acre campus, including the Ambassador Auditorium.
As its membership began to dwindle after the 1986 death of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, so did its finances. The Church sold a third of its land to a residential developer in February and another third to a partnership formed by a religious high school and church congregation in May. Those prices were not disclosed.
“Because we started a significant downsizing of the church activities, we are only a fraction of our former size,” said Ron Kelly, its controller. “Splits and schisms resulted in our financial and numerical deterioration.”
The Church is still seeking a buyer for the balance of the property, he said.
“We love Pasadena and we think we have been a significant part of the city’s successful redevelopment,” Kelly said. “But we are not sad because we know what we have to do to meet our financial obligations. Glendora isn’t a bigger, better place for us, it’s just this building better suits our needs in this location,” he said.
The new headquarters will house a staff of about 35.
Glendora Mayor Cliff Hamlow said he knew the group was involved in Pasadena’s civic life and expected that Glendora residents would welcome the same level of participation. “It’s not the best thing that they’re taking the building off our tax roll, but churches are good for your community,” he said. “And they are a very community-minded group.”