The Cuyahoga Land Bank has its fans, but only recently can its work be described as “heavenly.”
The collaboration began in summer of 2011, when Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos attended a fundraiser at Landerhaven Country Club called, “Philanthropia.” The evening was a celebration of giving, with about 500 attendees there to support their favorite non-profit organizations.
One of the speakers was Dr. Benjamin Aden, President of Maranatha Bible College, who shared his vision for the school and its urgent need for buildings in which they could establish a free-standing campus.
Maranatha-which translates into, “behold, the Lord is coming”-trains men and women for Christian ministries in addition to offering general studies.
After the event, Frangos told Dr. Aden that the Cuyahoga Land Bank handles properties that become available through tax forclosure and might be in a position to help Dr. Aden realize his dream for the school. A search turned up two buildings in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood that needed significant work, but would make a perfect campus and headquarters for Maranatha Bible College. The Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the properties through a tax foreclosure process and donated them to the school.
Today the new campus is in the drawing-board stage. Once the engineers have finished their plans for remodeling and restoration, reconstruction can begin. “It will take lots of remodeling and renovations to make this happen. We intend to open the Maranatha Bible College in mid-2013,” Dr. Aden says, adding that funding and “other helps” are now being sought, “to keep down the high cost of attending college in Cleveland.”
Frangos calls it “the perfect type of transaction” for the Cuyahoga Land Bank because, “it not only meets the brick and mortar mission of the Land Bank, but also enriches the lives of people, particularly the students who will be attending this college. The physical presence of the college will have a positive impact and provide a hub where students can learn, interact and integrate into the community.”
Cuyahoga Land Bank officials may or may not be angels, but this deal definitely brings plenty of grace to the City of Cleveland.