Financial Church Blessing
The leader of an Assemblies of God church in an Indianapolis suburb credits God’s favor as the reason for the congregation’s mortgage being sliced by half.
The Journey Church in Avon, Indiana, recently purchased the 32,000-square-foot building it has been leasing for six years for $900,000 — well under the assessed value of $1,575,000.
The owner originally offered to sell for $1.2 million. The monthly rent had been scheduled to jump to $10,000 in July, but the mortgage cuts that obligation in half. The Journey Church’s mortgage totaled $8,000 monthly.
“After much prayer, our church board concluded that we were not fiscally able to pay $1.2 million for the building,” explains Tim Parsons, who along with his wife, Consuela, has pastored The Journey Church since February 2017. Parsons, 42, says the church boldly counteroffered with a purchase price of $650,000.
“That’s what we did, and the owner responded that he would sell it to us for $645,000,” Parsons says. “We have no doubt that the only reason we now own the building is because of God’s hand and His plan for our church.”
When Parsons arrived a little over three years ago, the church, which has 150 attendees, needed to sign a new lease. Journey negotiated a lease that kept the monthly rent the same for the first three years of the new agreement, but then the landlord wanted to increase it by more than $24,000 annually, which concerned leaders.
“Our board was considering all the options, including finding a new location for our church,” Parsons says. “Also, COVID-19 hit when we were in the middle of the purchase. However, God opened a door for us to move forward with the financing.”
Parsons says the mortgage being cut in half has both instant and long-term implications for the church.
“Immediately, this cut in monthly expense is helping us to endure and even thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says. “Although our giving has decreased, we have been able to keep our staff employed and continue to meet our other obligations while reaching out to our community to serve those impacted by the virus.”
Some of these efforts include helping with mortgage payments and utility bills, providing gift cards for groceries, operating the church’s food pantry twice per month, helping the homeless and refugees in the area, and providing meals for front-line workers.
“In the long-term, having half the monthly expense will enable us to do ministry in ways that we haven’t been able to do to this point,” Parsons says. He notes that the building, a former exercise facility with a full-size gymnasium and 32,000 square feet, might be used as a community center in addition to a church building.