Loans From State Conventions Helping Churches Weather Coronavirus

NASHVILLE (BP) –- While the federal government is making loans available to churches to help them weather the COVID-19 economic downturn, state Southern Baptist conventions are also offering financial aid to struggling churches.

The Florida Baptist Convention (FBC) and the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) are among several state conventions that have made loans available to struggling churches. In another example of how state conventions are planning to help, the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention (MWBC) will discuss how best to support churches financially during a trustee board meeting April 17.

Through Tuesday (April 7), the FBC had already approved about $400,000 in signature loans to perhaps 50 churches who sought the money to continue their daily operations, according to executive director Tommy Green.

“We announced at the very beginning of this that we would be doing emergency type of loans to churches to help them cover salaries and things like that for their pastors and so forth,” Green said. “So a lot of churches probably will look to us, maybe rather than the [federal paycheck] protection plan, because … their need is not on such a large scale.”

MWBC Executive Director Leo Endel said he will ask MWBC trustees to consider options to help churches financially survive the economic downturn, either by setting aside a certain amount of MWBC reserves or addressing needs case by case. Endell said about 85 percent of some 200 pastors in Minnesota and Wisconsin are bivocational, adding that plans are already in place to help those who lose their jobs in the marketplace.

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Source: Baptist Press