I believe the effort was worth it.
On Sunday, November 17, University Heights Baptist Church will finally be debt-free. We culminate and celebrate a five year capital campaign called “Mission Possible: Setting Free the Future” in which a $1.1 million building debt has been completed paid off. The overall cost of the improvements was approximately $1.7 million, with the church having paid about 500K on their first paydown run.
UHBC made significant upgrades to its facility by renovating the 3rd floor into a coffee shop atmosphere, constructed an elevator, build a new covered entryway, and completed other needed improvements about 8 years ago. However, it was left with a significant amount of debt and struggled to deal with it for a while. The amount of interest alone on a million dollars at the time of the loan was around $15,000 a month. The church did well to pay the interest for many months.
In September 2008, our church formed a Capital Campaign Steering Committee and they have served steadily and well for the duration of this effort. Our people have responded generously through difficult economic conditions. It has not been easy and we have made some hard choices. Having lived and led with this debt for 6 1/2 years now, I can relate to other pastors and churches who struggle to meet basic expenses and carry out ministries. It can be stressful and pre-occupy much of the thinking and energy relating to church life. Now, however, we rejoice at the note burning and recognize that this truly was brought about by God’s graciousness and his people’s faithfulness.
It is a great privilege to be part of UHBC at this time in their history and to share this moment with them. With the debt paid off, we put a punctuation mark on a difficult stretch of road and look forward to new opportunities in the days ahead. To God Be the Glory!