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Baptist Foundation offers church loans
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
December 14, 2009
3 MIN READ TIME

Baptist Foundation offers church loans

Baptist Foundation offers church loans
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
December 14, 2009

With the creation this year of North Carolina Baptist Financial Services, N.C. Baptist churches have a new resource for loans.

The wholly owned subsidiary of the N.C. Baptist Foundation

already has approved $7.8 million in church loans.

A lead investment of $2.5 million of reserves held by the

Baptist State Convention jump started the ability of N.C. Baptist Financial

Services to start making loans while gearing up the investment stream from

other sources.

Contributed photo

Russell Jones

Russell Jones, with 25 years in the banking industry, is

managing director of the new service.

He maintains his office in Charlotte while traveling the

state.

“For some time there’s been a need for a program like this,”

said Jones, son of longtime Durham pastor Crate Jones.

While Baptist foundations in other states have provided a

loan service, and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has offered

small loans, primarily for church plants, this is the Foundation’s first foray

into the service.

“The Foundation is the logical choice to house this

ministry,” Jones said.

Jones said Baptist Financial Services is not a replacement

for traditional bank loans or bond sales, but it offers churches an alternative

funding source.

As a banker, Jones authorized many church loans, but he said

bank enthusiasm for making church loans runs “hot and cold, especially in the

economic environment right now.”

Loan applications made through Baptist Financial Services

will undergo qualification tests similar to a bank loan process, and a loan

committee reviews all applications.

“But we have a better understanding of church needs,” Jones

said.

Investment pool

To build a pool of money from which church loans can be

provided, N.C. Baptist Financial Services offers the Church Growth Investment

Fund. Investment in this fund is open to Baptist entities, churches or

individuals who want to earn a return on their own money, while making it available

to loan to churches.

“If you don’t need access to your funds in the immediate

future you can invest to help other churches,” Jones said.

While that investment fund is not protected by the Federal

Depository Insurance Corporation, Jones said he is careful “to make sure the

church has financial resources to qualify for the loan.”

Eventually, Jones hopes NC Baptist Financial Services

generates a surplus that would be available for other Kingdom projects.

The board of the Baptist Foundation elects the board of N.C.

Baptist Financial Services, which in its first year consists wholly of Baptist

Foundation board members. Some members of the board comprise the loan

committee.

To apply for a loan, or to inquire about investing in the

Church Growth Investment Fund, contact Jones directly at (800) 521-7334, ext 1680,

or [email protected]. Find loan application and other information

online.

Jones and his wife, Lori, are parents to three children and

are members of First Baptist Church, Mathews. He is a graduate and former board

member of Wingate University.