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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.