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$10 million in loans to aid SBC churches hit by Katrina

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–The North American Mission Board will provide low-interest loans up to $100,000 to Southern Baptist churches damaged by Hurricane Katrina. NAMB is designating a total of $10 million to the disaster loan effort.

“We want to help churches get back on their feet as quickly as possible so they can fulfill their Acts 1:8 calling to be a worldwide mission center,” said NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord. “The loans — which will require a minimum of paperwork — are just one way we can help them do that.”

Disaster relief loans are available to SBC churches for repair of church facilities, replacement of equipment or materials, or to cover expenses while a church is displaced, said Karl Dietz, director of NAMB’s church finance ministry team.

Dietz said the application process will be simple and can be made by contacting one of NAMB’s church finance consultants prior to Dec. 1.

“For amounts up to $10,000, the loan will be unsecured without the need for normal financial records or for collateral to secure the loan,” Dietz said. “For amounts over this, the loan will be secured by any financed equipment and the church’s property.”

No fees will be assessed by NAMB, Dietz said, while churches are expected to pay closing costs, which are expected to be minimal. No interest will be charged during the first year of the loan. Years two through five, the interest rate will be NAMB’s preferred rate minus 1 percent fixed.

To qualify for a disaster relief loan a church must:

— own the damaged facility.

— be a cooperating Southern Baptist church as verified by the local association and/or state convention.

— have demonstrated history of supporting the Cooperative Program and other Southern Baptist mission causes.

— be a valid legal corporation able to provide evidence concerning who is authorized to borrow money on the church’s behalf.

Churches interested in applying for the new loans or obtaining additional information may call 1-800-759-5901. More information also is available at www.churchfinanceministry.com.

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  • Tim Yarbrough