Welborne Reaches Historic Moment: No Debt!

Since Welborne built their first facility in 1956, the church has always carried a mortgage.  Whether to pay for land, pay for construction costs, or pay for renovations to our physical plant, we have had a mortgage.  When a new need arose, the mortgage was re-financed, most recently in 2008.  We will celebrate our debt-free status with a Breakfast and Mortgage Burning Service on May 22, 2016, at 10 am.  Regular worship services will also take place at 9 and 11, but there will be no Sunday School at 10 am.

How We Did It

One of the main goals of Welborne’s leaders over the last several years has been debt eradication. Our debt has been a significant burden on our monthly expenses, as we continue to experience a plateau in giving.   In 2014, the sale of our parsonage on Penola Drive allowed us to pay off $170,000 of principal, plus another $36,000 on a line of credit for the roof replacement in 2013.  In our February 2015 Strategic Plan, one of the 17 goals was to “conduct a capital campaign to provide the necessary funds to eliminate the Church’s debt, and provide additional funding to implement some of the recommendations” in this plan.

The Fulfilling the Dream Capital Campaign was conducted in 2015, with a goal of raising $200,000 over 2 years.  With that goal met, all of the giving toward the Capital Campaign, except $8,000 for Nave Hall bathroom upgrades, has been directed toward debt repayment.  On April 15, 2016, we made the final payment against principal!  This has been made possible thanks to the faith, commitment and radical generosity of Welborne members.

What Happens Next

We continue receiving Fulfilling the Dream pledges through May of 2017, which will fund the two remaining campaign goals—a community garden, and an outdoor electronic sign.

In terms of the impact on our operating budget, this allows us to begin another journey toward paying our denominational obligations, called apportionments.  Welborne has not met these obligations for about 20 years.  They fund pension and health care for active and retired clergy, like Pastor Beth, Earl Paylor, and other former Welborne pastors.  They also fund salaries and operating expenses for District and Conference staff and offices, including Superintendents and Bishops.  Finally, these apportionments also fund the operations of our denominational agencies which direct mission and discipleship ministries across the globe.

We continue to be in a position of carefully watching our finances.  We are not in a position of abundant wealth, and we still have significant hurdles to clear.  We also want to celebrate how far we have come, as we gather, shape, and scatter to serve on the corner of Maybeury and Patterson.