International Ministry group moving into Woodland Park

The stage is now set for an international ministry group, with pursuits for a bible college and other major educational endeavors, to move into Woodland Park.

Last week, the Woodland Park City Council approved a petition for annexation by the Andrew Wommack Ministries group for a 35-acre parcel, located just west of an area known as the Little Star Lodge.

With this application, the city will consider a 147-acre total tract as part of a planned unit development and business development zone, proposed by Andrew Wommack Ministries. The annexation bid will mostly likely request city utility services. Part of the property is part of the Westwood Lakes water district. However, the ministry group wants to use city services.

The process, though, won’t occur overnight and will involve many hearings over the next few months. The next big hearing regarding this project is set for Aug. 18. That’s when the city will unveil its annexation impact report, outlining what it will cost the city to accept the additional 35-acre acre area into the Woodland Park municipal limits and to provide municipal services to the the ministry property. Also, within the next several months, the group’s business development and land use plans will come before both the planning commission and the city council.

At last week’s hearing, the council unanimously okayed the annexation petition, which sets the wheels in motion for the project. It represented the first time the city has accepted an annexation petition since 2005. And it represents the first significant annexation bid in more than 10 years.

During last week’s brief hearing, no public comment was permitted, even though the Andrew Wommack Ministries team featured a full lineup of development and ministry representatives. In fact, the city council wasn’t even permitted to read a mission statement, prepared by Wommack Ministries. Those statements were yanked from the council tables, at the request of attorney Erin smith.

The attorney cautioned that more details will be released regarding the project in future hearings. Both Smith and Planning Director Sally Riley cited the annexation petition as the starting point in the process.

The bid by the ministry group has been the subject of much speculation for several years. According to the group’s website, the Andrew Wommack Ministries (AWM) wants to use the Woodland Park property for developing an auditorium, facilities for its Charis Bible College, a phone center and administrative offices for AWM. It also plans to take advantage of the 8,400-square-foot lodge, located on the property.

The ministries group, which began in the 1970s on a shoestring budget, now has offices across the country and world in such places as England, Northern Ireland, Russia, Belize, India, Uganda and South Africa. It is known for producing the Gospel Truth television show, aired on the CNL network and available through their website, which receives 19,000 hits per day, according to Andrew Wommack, the co-founder of the organization.