Pastor Paul Marzahn is best known as the founder of several south suburban churches. But he’s gaining a new reputation for an unusual side job he’s juggling — as a church flipper.
The Methodist minister scouts for “For Sale” signs on churches with an eye toward rehabbing the buildings and selling them back to new faith-filled owners. He’s also a consultant to clergy looking to sell or buy.
Marzahn’s nonprofit, for example, purchased the historic Wesley United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis and last year turned it over to a fresh congregation. His own Lakeville church bought an aging Inver Grove Heights church, rehabbed it, and made it an auxiliary campus.
He’s now helping a ministry serving the homeless revamp a former Catholic Charities building.
“I drive by these church buildings for sale and think, ‘Who do I know who would be a good fit into this building?’ ” said Marzahn, senior pastor at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Lakeville. “That’s my calling. To see churches or nonprofits save some of these great buildings…”
“Some people see the profit side of things,” Marzahn said. “I see a different potential…”