(NY Times Beliefs Column) Building a Business on Churches for Sale

In better economic times, workers in this dusty inland town [of Azusa, California] east of Los Angeles built motor homes in the low-slung complex at 975 West First Street.

More recently, it was an assembly site for floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Today it is the home of two Hispanic Protestant churches, which rent space for Sunday services in two buildings set on 1.3 acres. So when the site’s owners decided to sell the property, they called Raphael Realty.

David and Mary Raphael are real estate agents who deal only in church buildings. It’s a rare specialty. They could think of only two other real estate agencies in the country that do what they do, one in Texas and one in Northern California.

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