About $100,000 worth of music and sound equipment, electric organs, a printing press, a bus and other equipment will be put on the auction block next week at Community Chapel and Bible Training Center.
The Burien-area church has been torn by a split between the former pastor, the Rev. Donald Lee Barnett, and a group of the church's elders. In December, a King County Superior Court judge placed control of the church property, valued at about $11 million, in the hands of the elders.
Community Chapel, which once claimed a membership of about 2,500, now has decreased attendance and heavy debts, including attorneys' fees and mortgage payments, according to Robert Rohan, attorney for the church.
But Rohan said the church would continue operating. "It's not closing down at all,'' he said. "This is excess equipment based on the number of people going to the church now.''
E. Scott Hartley, a member of the church's board of elders, said the church was keeping about 30 percent of its equipment. "We anticipate continuing to grow,'' Hartley said.
The auction, being conducted by James G. Murphy Co., will begin Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the church, 18635 Eighth Ave. S. Terry Moore, advertising coordinator, said the auction would include 2,400 items, including several organs and pianos, sound mixers, graphic arts equipment and office equipment. He estimated the total value at around $100,000.
Barnett, who became controversial for his teaching of "spiritual connections,'' which encouraged close relationships between church members who were not married to each other, has begun another church in Renton.