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

    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 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.
    12/14/2009 9:58:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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