In the early part of this decade, we undertook an ambitious project of remodeling and construction to make our facility a better asset for ministry in the 21st century. We are now putting those new spaces to work for the glory of God. The entire project cost more than four million dollars, and when it was finished, we placed the remaining $1,461,000 which we owed into a 30-year mortgage.
Recognizing that the quicker we can pay off the mortgage, the less interest we will pay and the sooner we will be able to redirect our assets to other uses, we have made a concerted effort to pay this debt at an accelerated rate. In just the first three years of this 30-year mortgage, we have already reduced our debt to $628,164!
We have huge momentum on retiring this debt, and New Doors, New Life, No Debt is our next campaign to take another big bite out of the remaining amount owed.
week one - Sunday, March 19, 2017
Let's take a look back: some collective soul-searching led us to decide that it was time for a major upgrade to our facility to make it a better asset for 21st century ministry.
Watch the video to re-live that time of discernment. If you're new to our congregation, this will show you where we came from.
week 2 - Sunday, March 26, 2017
Decisions made, plans in-place, it was time to get busy and build. Here's what we did to make our facility really work for us the way we wanted it to:
- stained glass restoration
- asbestos removal
- property acquisition
- theater construction
- cafe construction
- air - conditioning added to basement and 3rd floor
- office reconfiguration
- remodeling of children's area
- repurposing / remodeling Fellowship Hall
- new main electrical service and wiring
- sanctuary remodeling
- new AV tech packages in Fellowship Hall, sanctuary, and new spaces
- construction of:
- Gathering Place
- accessibility ramp
- coat room
- entry vestibule
- main entry with covered drop-off
week 3 - Sunday, April 2
New Doors, New Life, No Debt. That describes the journey we’re on and it functions as a checklist.
New Doors: two weeks ago we recalled the process of recognizing that our church facility wasn’t working for us the way we’d like. Over time, it’s been easy to forget all the talking and planning we did. Last week, we looked at the construction process, remembering the enormous scope of the addition, the remodeling and the infrastructure improvements. And we relived the mess and the excitement of building something new.
New Doors ? Check! - We got those.
What about New Life? It’s what we hoped to accomplish. Did we? Look around. We’re a different congregation that we were ten years ago. Yeah - it’s a lot of the same people, but a lot of new ones, too. We’re meeting each other and working with each other and learning with each other in new ways. We built a place where people can feel comfortable to be themselves the instant they come in the front door. We’re a place where people are free to share friendship and fellowship. Where people people of all ages are safe. Our church is a place where people feel free to let the spirit move them. A place where people of all ages can be moved to sing. A place where we learn and share and pray as a community and family of faith.
New Life? Check! We got that. Every one of these video clips affirms that our new doors and all of our upgrades were money well-spent. We have a facility which encourages us to learn and share and pray and to throw our doors open to invite others in, even as we’re going out to be Christ in the world outside. We have new life, and that’s not just a checkmark … it’s a celebration!
week four - No Debt
It’s hard to know exactly how much the entire project cost, because for years we have been working toward this point. It is fair to say that in the last ten to fifteen years, we have spent more than three million dollars - securing the property on our block, making improvements to our infrastructure, remodeling existing spaces, and building new. We’ve been paying as we go for much of that time, but when we finally stood back and said we were done … we were left with a loan of $ 1,461,000 in 2013.
That’s a big number, but then, it was a big project. Our monthly payments on this loan are about $6,500. If we had simply made our monthly payments - 45 of them so far, we would, today, still owe, $1,346,236, and we would still be faced with 326 more payments of $6,500. The debt almost seems insurmountable.
But, here’s the cool thing. We’ve been making additional payments on our principal loan amount every month. Because of your generous support, we don’t still owe $1,346,236. Instead, today, we owe $611,208. We are ahead of schedule to the tune of $735,024. By paying ahead, we’ve already saved more than a half a million dollars in interest.
In less than four years, we’ve already paid back over half of our loan. That means, if everyone who has contributed to the building fund continues to do so, and if some new people jump on the bandwagon, we stand a very real chance of having this building completely paid for in the next thirty-three months. We have huge momentum on this!
How great it will be when we can retire this debt? We built the New Doors. We’ve Realized New Life. Now, let’s achieve No Debt. ‘Cause ultimately, we’re not here for the cause of cash, we’re here for the cause of Christ.