New Life: From Foreclosure to Fruitful Ministry Once Again

Post a Comment » Written on November 21st, 2008     
Filed under: News
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (November 21, 2008) – Last Sunday, nearly 600 people attended the second service of Bayside of Citrus Heights, which earlier this year had been an independent congregation with a building in foreclosure.

The first service was held November 9 and Ray Johnston, pastor of Bayside of Granite Bay, preached to the newest of the 11 Bayside campuses. More than 500 people attended, with the impact of the new faith community quickly apparent.

Between 20 and 30 people gave their life to Christ, says Jim Holst, the Granite Bay’s pastor of outreach. Two members of the military headed to Iraq were baptized.

BaysideDespite the attendance that exceeded expectations for the first week, leaders were uncertain what last Sunday’s would be. “It was pretty amazing,” Holst says.

The 50-year-old congregation, Sylvan Oaks Christian Church, “was the best church in Citrus Heights for a long, long time,” says Holst. Three years ago, the church, which had experienced “explosive growth,” built a facility that would accommodate 900 people in worship.

Shortly afterward, however, issues in the church led attendance to decline from 700 to 200. That left the church in financial straits. It owed $3.5 million on its $6.4 million building, and the lender had begun to foreclose.

The congregation approached Bayside of Granite Bay to see if it might be interested in purchasing the building, says Holst. Starting a congregation in Citrus Heights had been on the church’s master plan, so leadership suggested that Sylvan Oaks become a new Bayside church plant.

Bayside of Citrus Heights was formed as a corporate entity and became the newest church plant to join the Bayside family. Bayside closed the Citrus Heights campus for nearly two months to work through transition issues.

During that time, people who had attended Sylvan Oaks were encouraged to attend another Bayside church to get a better idea of whether they wanted to remain part of the congregation. Holst met on Wednesday nights with the people to discuss the transition.

Bayside also has encouraged members at its other campuses who live in Citrus Heights to consider attending the new church. It currently has an interim pastor, and a senior pastor will be called, Holst says.

The changeover has been well received, Holst says. “They had been without hope for a while. Now they can go back to their days when they impacted their community.”

Holst says the property purchase and the congregation’s new opportunities would not have been possible without National Covenant Properties (NCP) being willing to provide the necessary loan and work with the previous lender.

NCP President Steve Dawson credits Evangelical Covenant Church members who invest with National Covenant Properties with making the funding of such loans possible. Loan funds come through individuals investing in NCP’s investment certificates.

NCP currently NCP has more than $216 million in loans to more than 260 Covenant projects.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog