City of Refuge Returns Home

By Joe Bennett

June 16, 2011 Updated Jun 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM CDT

After six months of desperate struggles with a bank foreclosure, the City of Refuge Worship Center will stay in Peoria right where it was.

During an auction the Church's pastor Timothy Criss closed a bid for the property at more than $100,000.

The official auction price is still under negotiation.

Also under negotiation is the offering of three nearby parking lots as a gift to the highest bidder.

Those gifts however came with legal stipulations still being worked out.

Pastor Criss says he's happy to save the property he calls home and keep the church where it is as a gateway to downtown from the south side.

"In these economic times you have to try to do more with less," says Pastor Criss. "We will go as we go, and I just pray we will be an example for other organizations that before you get to this point do some things that can preferably prevent things of this nature because set backs can be devastating."

Criss says the poor economy is to blame for the church's previous setbacks.

The pastor also says the church's mall, The Galleria, will eventually be back up and running as well as several rental spaces for commercial use.

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