Once intended for C. S. Lewis College, former property of D. L. Moody will now host evangelist’s museum and Catholic school.

Though it was offering a free Christian college campus with a famous name—D. L. Moody—attached, for years the National Christian Foundation (NCF) couldn’t give it away.

Then today, the charity announced that the Massachusetts campus will be donated to Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center.

The Catholic and Protestant groups will take over the buildings on May 2.

It’s been a long time coming. The 217-acre campus was the site of Moody’s first school for girls in 1879; two years later, he started one for boys on the other side of the Connecticut River. The Bible institute developed there was a forerunner of the Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago.

In 1971, the two schools became coeducational; in 2005, they consolidated onto the west campus. That left the campus on the east side of the river empty and for sale.

The campus is enormous, with about 500,000 square feet spread across 40 buildings on more than 200 acres.

It was purchased by the Green family, who own the Hobby Lobby franchise, for $100,000 in 2009. They gave it a $5 million upgrade, including new sidewalks, fresh paint in the 2,200-seat auditorium, and a seamlessly reinforced stone chapel.

But when they offered it to Christian colleges, almost all balked.

"Liberty is a large school, but we still couldn't see how we'd utilize that whole property," Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr told Religion News Service. "We suggested that maybe several schools could work together to jointly use the property for different programs. … We put together a proposal along those lines."

The Greens ended up awarding the campus to Grand Canyon University (GCU) after the Southern Baptist Convention’s North …

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from Christianity Today Magazine http://ift.tt/2k024Lg