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NAMB offering low-interest loans to damaged SBC churches

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–The North American Mission Board will provide low-interest loans quickly and with virtually no paperwork to Southern Baptist churches damaged by Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan, as well as other natural disasters.

“It’s difficult for a church without a roof or flooded classrooms to fulfill its vision to be a worldwide mission center,” NAMB President Robert E. (Bob) Reccord. “We’re committed to doing everything possible with our state convention and associational partners to meet the needs of SBC churches damaged by hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.”

Disaster relief loans up to $10,000 will be 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 team.

“Applications will be simple and made over the phone with one of our church finance consultants without the need for normal financial records or for collateral to secure the loan,” Dietz said. “No payments will be required the first year of the seven-year loans, and the interest rate will be one percentage point less than NAMB’s current preferred loan rate.”

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.

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

Although the new loan program is not limited to the 80-plus Florida Baptist churches damaged in recent hurricanes, Florida Baptist Convention Executive Director John Sullivan welcomed the news.

“This is a wonderful gesture by the North American Mission Board,” Sullivan said. “The Florida Baptist Convention is doing whatever it takes to help our churches and congregations affected by these hurricanes, and appreciate the availability of these low-interest loans.”

Churches interested in applying for the new loans or obtaining additional information may call 1-800-759-5901.

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