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Lynn Arave, Deseret News
The former Stimson's Market in Layton could be the future home for Wasatch Baptist Church.

LAYTON — For more than 40 years, Stimson's Market, 1447 N. Main, saved customers time with its drive-up window.

Now, the 5.6 acres of property may be switching to the business of saving souls, as the three-year-old Wasatch Baptist Church hopes to relocate there.

According to the Rev. Darren P. Smith, the only obstacle to the relocation is coming up with the funding to do it.

"We have signed a contract to buy it," he said. "As of now, everyone's behind it, except the bank."

Clark Real Estate owns the property and is asking $2.5 million.

"That's a lot of money," the Rev. Smith said. "But I believe that's where we're supposed to be. I trust God. He's in control."

The church is seeking donations from the public and area businesses. It also plans some fundraisers and held an open-air concert at the site on June 13.

Besides the church, Wasatch Baptist operates a preschool-to-12th-grade private school, Wasatch Intermountain Academy.

"We've outgrown our current place," the Rev. Smith said.

Located at 52 E. Gentile in the old Mountain Fuel Building, that 1,900-square-foot facility is simply too small now. Whether it ends up at the old convenience store property or not, the church/school needs a larger place.

The old Stimson's property includes a 20,000-square-foot building.

"It would be phenomenal," the Rev. Smith said. "Our school has doubled every year."

Wasatch Baptist is an independent Baptist congregation, with about 40 regular Sunday worshippers. The church started in July 2005. The Rev. Smith said it focuses on helping children.

Stimson's Market was briefly Jay's Miniature Market until it closed about two years ago. Since then, weeds and disrepair have taken over the property.

The Rev. Smith said church members recently worked to chop down the weeds on the property and clean out the building. The lower weeds are probably more noticeable than the sign advertising the new church.

If Wasatch Baptist secures the property, it probably will remodel the front of the store first, followed by the rear for classrooms.

Eventually the Rev. Smith envisions a playground and a gymnasium on the property. The school's children have to walk to Layton Commons Park now for a playground and open space.

The church would need a conditional use permit to use the property for its services. The city also will require some site improvements, but the Rev. Smith said city officials have expressed positive interest in the project.

Wasatch Baptist meets at 52 E. Gentile at 10 a.m. Sundays for Sunday School and 11 a.m. for worship services. More information is available at www.wbcutah.org.

Anyone wishing to help or donate to Wasatch Baptist's new property can call the Rev. Smith at 544-1210 or 726-6700.

E-mail: [email protected]