A Vision to Strengthen the Church
In recent months, Pastor David engaged Bear Creek leadership teams regarding the church’s future. He believes one of our biggest hurdles is the remaining debt on our facility’s mortgage. With this in mind, Pastor David is focused to position Bear Creek to be the most effective in reaching our community, region and world with the gospel of Christ.
Fourteen years ago, Bear Creek took a bold step to reach our region for Christ. We relocated and developed our present campus and facilities, constructing 125,000 sq. ft. of ministry space so far. Our church has more than doubled in size since the relocation, with thousands of salvation commitments through the years.
Overall, this was an $18 million relocation and expansion mission. We presently owe $5.8 million in mortgage debt to fully pay for all completed projects to this point.
But this debt impedes our ability to fund significant new ministry for our community. Presently, about 19 percent of our ministry funds go toward this mortgage – approximately $680,000 a year.
A Vision of Freedom
We vision to take a huge step toward total freedom. Think of what eliminating this debt could mean for the gospel every year that follows. For example, this $680,000 yearly, multiplied by five years, equals $3.5 million that could be used to do bold new things.
Our vision is to accelerate our elimination of debt and pour these strategic funds into gospel initiatives. According to Pastor David, this is our most challenging obstacle to our effectiveness in reaching our world for Christ.
A Five-Year Freedom Plan
But how is this possible in the present economic climate? There are three parts to this plan.
A sale of a portion of our property
After praying for an answer to this challenge for many, many months, an opportunity materialized. A community home developer agreed to purchase a 12-acre portion of our 36 acres for the development of single-family homes immediately behind our facility.
Our lead staff and finance team are working with the developer in a preliminary way. We believe that we could execute a contract for approximately $1.25 million for 12 acres at the back of our property.
The proceeds of this sale would primarily go toward reducing the principal of our existing mortgage.
A strategic refinance of our mortgage
Because of the present economic climate, we are in a position to refinance our mortgage on very favorable terms and significantly reduce our interest rate along with a 25-year amortization.
The refinance could serve as a hedge against the uncertainty in a “COVID-economy,” coupled with a faster reduction of our mortgage.
A giving challenge to our church family
If our church family will take the challenge of giving $200-$300 thousand yearly, over-and-above present giving, we could eliminate the mortgage we’ve carried for the past 14 years. With even modest commitments to give toward this plan from core families, this could be accomplished in as little as five years. It could mean that in 2025, we are able to unleash $680,000 each year into bringing the gospel further into our community, region and the world. An incredible new day of freedom.
Our proposed plan includes a sale of 12 acres, a strategic refinance of our mortgage, plus a challenge to our church family to give over-and-above for the next five to six years. This could completely eliminate our mortgage debt and unleash unprecedented resources.
Plenty of Space to Grow
One question that remains is whether this potential sale of land would restrict our ability to continue expanding our facilities and reaching our community for Christ. After consideration, we do not believe it will suppress our ability to grow and reach.
Our sports ministry will maintain access to five acres of outdoor fields. Additionally, the potential exists to add a second gym to our present facility, doubling our indoor sports ministry capabilities. We have room to add significant age-group space and expand our worship center as well. One recent architectural study showed that we can easily double in average attendance after the sale of 12 acres.
Even with a potential sale of a portion of our property, we retain 24 acres in total on Fry Rd. Our visibility and access remain excellent.
Our Leadership Fully Unified
For the past few months our finance committee and lead staff have prayed, evaluated and worked through this plan. When we asked for feedback from our other leadership groups, we found unified affirmation. The Freedom Plan is unanimously recommended by our lead staff, finance committee, trustees, personnel committee, deacon lead team and deacons.
A Freedom Plan for the Future
This plan expands the possibilities for us. When we pay off our mortgage, Bear Creek recovers nearly $700,000 dollars annually to release into our community for Christ in brand new ways. We are reclaiming financial resources that our church family is already giving. We will be able to do incredible things for the gospel without raising any additional funds.
for the Freedom Plan
October 4 - 19
All information will be available at www.bearcreek.church/freedom
A Q&A session will be held at church from 9 - 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 - 11 a.m. in the Connection Center near the Lobby.
Questions may also be submitted online at www.bearcreek.church/freedom, and you will receive a personal response.
A vote will be conducted during each service via text. Voting is reserved for members who have completed the membership process.
The membership of Bear Creek Baptist Church affirms the Freedom Plan and approves the trustees to sign an acceptable contract for the sale of 12 acres to a local home developer for $1.25 million.
How much property would we sell and for how much?
We propose the sale of 12 acres of property behind the church for $1.25 million to a local home developer.
How will the land be used?
A local home developer plans to expand the existing subdivision by adding approximately 50 new homes. The estimated cost of these homes in current market conditions is $225,000 - $285,000.
Will there be a fence separating the property?
Yes, the home developer will construct a fence along the property line. The fence will be owned and maintained by the homeowners to avoid increasing the church’s maintenance budget.
The church may elect to beautify and improve the separation of properties with landscaping and trees.
How much property will we retain?
In total, we will retain 24 acres for our campus and facilities.
How will this impact Sports/Rec Ministry?
Five acres of our property will be redeveloped for outdoor field sports. Scott Denton, Sports Ministry Pastor, is excited about the future plans and eager to see how it helps us enjoy recreation as a church while also reaching our community.
What will we do with the money from the property sale?
We will designate $1 million to The Freedom Plan for the purpose of reducing the church’s debt over the next five years. Up to $250,000 may be reserved for expenses related to improving our current property including the development of our sports and recreation fields.
Will we still have the ability to grow in the future?
Yes, we still have plenty of property and space to grow in our current location for years to come. We consulted with our original architect and determined that our current property and facilities allow for additional expansion. Our facilities could easily expand from a worship space capacity of 1,500 (current) to 2,500 (future) at a single hour.
When and how will we vote?
We will vote on Sunday, October 18, during the morning services. Voting eligibility extends to Bear Creek members who have completed our membership process. Church members will receive a link to approve this recommendation and submit their ballots by text.