The Africa Inland Mission moved its United States Headquarters to Pearl River in 1969.
The organization's plan to move that office to Georgia opened the door for the Pearl River School District to purchase the property as a new home for its administrative offices last year.
The AIM is on target to leave the property it has occupied for over 41 years Aug. 31 to relocate to Peachtree, GA, which is 25 miles southwest of Atlanta International Airport.
United States Director of AIM Ted Barnett said they started packing up the trucks July 30 and sent more shipments Aug. 12 and 13.
"This will be a big change for us," Barnett said.
Barnett said that the primary motivation for the move was financial. The AIM offered housing to employees in Pearl River, but will not have to do in Peachtree, just one way that maintaining the new office will be less expensive.
"We decided we could get out of the housing business and move to a part of the country where our employees could own homes," Barnett said. "We could use the cash from those homes more directly in our ministry goals."
Those goals are to support missionaries who as they travel to Africa and when they return home.
Barnett said that about half of the 35-person staff will be making the move, with the others staying behind.
Once the move is complete August 31, the Pearl River School District will go about the process of converting the AIM office building. The district has not set a firm date for when its administration will make the move from its current locations, split between the high school and the Nauraushaun building.
"We're now working with BOCES on when we can get internet and phones wired in there," said Sandra Cokely, Pearl River's Director of Community Relations. "That is going to impact our moving date. We don't have a final determination from them."
"We anticipate doing some minor construction work for moving purposes during the month of September and early October," said Pearl River School District Director of Operations Quinton Van Wynen.
Pearl River's administration is currently split between the offices at the high school and those at the Nauraushaun building. A Starting Place currently rents part of the Nauraushaun building from the district and will take on the rest once the administrators from Pearl River schools move out. Every member of the administration except Director of Physical Education and Athletics Todd Santabarbara will make the move to the AIM offices.
"Hopefully, we will have the first people moving in by mid-October," Van Wynen said. "Those people will be from Nauraushaun, so we can begin renting the space to A Starting Place by mid-October. The rest will move shortly after. The superintendent is anxious to get us over there. We are doing everything we can to accommodate his wishes."