After the Rev. Jay Fowler of Cambridge Church in Overland Park had collected $1.5 million in pledges, he strolled into a bank fully expecting to get a loan for the rest of the money he needed to build a church.
But the answer was no. And it was no again and again at other banks.
That was in 2009, when the economy was heading south, and banks were more persnickety than ever about loaning money.
The proposed church building was to cost close to $4 million, and it was to be built on property the church bought in 2006.
“We were really disappointed,” said Fowler, the senior pastor.
The church, part of the Anglican Mission in America, is 15 years old, with an average Sunday attendance of 200. Over the years it has hopped around to various locations, landing at Blue Valley Middle School for the past five years.
When the church started, it met at the Martin City Melodrama with about a dozen families.
The congregation chose the property for building carefully, settling on a 16-acre plot at 16301 Roe Ave., near Blue Valley Middle School.
“We thought we would get the bank loan and build on the property,” Fowler said. “But even with the pledges, banks wouldn’t meet our needs.”
So what to do? The choices were few.
Keep collecting pledge money, squirrel it away and wait for the economy to turn around? Or continue meeting in other locations while the property stayed bare, at least for the time being?
Neither solution seemed to fit the mission of the church.
“We always felt God wanted Cambridge to be involved in the community,” Fowler said. “Among other things, we regularly volunteer and raise money for a ministry to the homeless, and every year we send a group and money to Rwanda.”
So the congregation decided to use the property to serve the community.
To read more, click here.
This article tells how one Anglican church dealt with a problem that may face a number of new Anglican churches in today's uncertain economy. The church bought land for a building of its own and collected pledges from its members, only to discover that the local banks were unwilling to finance what they considered a too risky venture.