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Coca-Cola donates vacant bottling plant to Sherwood Baptist

The Coca-Cola Company has donated its old bottling plant on Pine Ave. to Sherwood Baptist Church. The 60,000 square foot building, valued at $590,000, had been on the market for the past two years. Sherwood's Facebook page says the church plans to use the facility as an outreach center.

The Coca-Cola Company has donated its old bottling plant on Pine Ave. to Sherwood Baptist Church. The 60,000 square foot building, valued at $590,000, had been on the market for the past two years. Sherwood's Facebook page says the church plans to use the facility as an outreach center.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Coca-Cola Company has donated its old bottling plant on Pine Avenue to Sherwood Baptist Church.

According to the Sherwood Baptist Church Facebook page, the 60,000-square-foot facility, which has been on the market for more than two years, will be used as a community outreach center.

A post on Sherwood's Facebook wall reads: "What an appropriate time to celebrate and give thanks! The Lord has provided us with this wonderful facility and we are so grateful! We will now be more equipped to go into the inner city and share His light and provide for their needs, thanks to the Coca-Cola corporation's generosity!"

The company's decision surprised Walden and Kirkland agent Woody Watson, who was handling the listing of the property, which was on the market at nearly $590,000.

"Yes, I'm surprised at Coca-Cola's decision," Watson said Tuesday. "They had several offers on the property and we actually had an acceptance. I thought the deal was done. Obviously someone at Sherwood talked to them (Coca-Cola).

"I feel bad for the people who wanted to buy the building. We had two solid offers on the building and I am disappointed we won't be getting the jobs the sale would have provided."

Jim McBride, an associate pastor at the church and former plant general manager for Coca-Cola, said the building basically "fell into our laps."

"The church was not pursuing this donation, this all happened in the last 10 days," McBride said. "Some people from Coca-Cola Consolidated came through town recently and we stopped by the building. They had a couple of offers on the building but asked me if I had any suggestions.

"A few days later they called and said that the building had served the community since 1940 and they wanted to continue that service by donating the building to the church."