Lonnie Wilkey/Tennesee Baptist and Reflector

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To end debt, church takes step of faith for missions

UNION CITY, Ten. (BP) -- The math is quite simple at Second Baptist Church: no debt = more resources for missions. For the first time in 15 years, Second Baptist is learning to live debt-free, pastor Justin Hiens said. In 2003, the church began a relocation process in Union City, Tenn., that eventually would cost more than $12 million. Hiens joined the church that same year, fresh out of college, as youth minister, serving there for nearly five years before moving on to become pastor of churches in Georgia and Mississippi. When Hiens returned to Second Baptist as senior pastor in 2015, the debt had been reduced to about $2.5 million. But it was still crippling the ministry of the church in the town of 10,000, 115 miles northeast of Memphis.