What’s going on in that big glass building downtown?

NTM USA's new headquarters will be in the former Federal Trust building. Credit: John and Carol Pierce

You may see a few moving trucks along 1st Street as the folks over at New Tribes Mission (NTM) USA are in the process of moving their headquarters into the former Federal Trust Bank building at 312 W. First St.

The headquarters for international missionary organization has been in the former Mayfair Hotel east of Fort Mellon Park, at 1000 E. First St., since the 1970s.

“With this move to downtown Sanford, we’re hoping to become more involved in our community,” said Larry Brown, NTM USA president.

Several of NTM USA’s departments have moved into renovated offices on the upper floors of the former bank building. Renovations to the first floor are not complete and some departments will continue to operate at the 1000 E. 1st St. location for several weeks. NTM USA officials say they plan to host an open house after remodeling is complete.

This is the fifth location for the NTM USA offices since the mission was founded in 1942 in Chicago. Subsequently the mission moved to Chico, California, then Woodworth, Wisconsin, before coming to Sanford.

New Tribes Mission works to establish thriving churches among the world’s unreached peoples. The Sanford offices serve more than 2,000 missionaries who in turn serve nearly 800 people groups in Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. NTM USA is an evangelical, nondenominational 501(c)3 organization.

So what is the future of the 1920s-era hotel built by scoundrel and former Sanford Mayor Forrest Lake? I’m not sure, other than NTM USA has the property for sale for $2.5 million. I’ll be meeting with NTM USA leaders in the future (they’re a little busy with the move) to talk about the old hotel, as well as find out more about their organization.

NTM USA’s headquarters for more than 40 years has been in the Old Mayfair Inn, which was first built as the Hotel Forrest Lake. Credit: John and Carol Pierce