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We found it by accident. After the interview we were hungry, driving around looking for a restaurant, and quite honestly, lost. We had reached the outskirts of Vienna, Virginia, and decided to turn around.

Suddenly it was in front of us, just as Lon Solomon had described it: 51 acres of beautiful woodland at the edge of the Washington, D.C. Beltway. The discreet sign at the street read "National Wildlife Federation" (the previous owner), but over the entrance to the three-story brick building, bold red letters said, "McLean Bible Church." At the far end of the building, construction continued on a 2500-seat sanctuary.

On Sunday, Solomon, the church's senior pastor, reported to his congregation the sale of their current facility four miles away as part of a $55-million relocation. The 7,000 current weekend attendance includes 2,000 who attend Frontline, McLean's edgy Gen-X ministry pastored by Solomon's protege, Ken Baugh.

The only moment more decisive in the history of this congregation was ...

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