“I don’t think we realize what a tremendous blessing WELS has in the Church Extension Fund (CEF). In talking with a church planting pastor from another denomination about how CEF would help us financially get on our feet, he looked at me for a bit and said, ‘I don’t believe you. I’ve never heard of something that good.’ That told me all I needed to know about what a blessing CEF has been for our mission churches.”
Rev. John Borgwardt, pastor at Living Word Lutheran Church in Waukesha, Wis.
CEF is a valuable partner of Home Missions. CEF provides loans to home mission congregations who are looking to purchase land, build worship facilities, or remodel their current locations. Besides offering loans at affordable rates, they also have a matching grant program that provides additional financial assistance to home mission starts. Since 1993, CEF has provided over $35.3 million in matching dollars to help offset initial costs of home mission mortgages.
On top of the matching grant program, CEF also provides special grants to Home Missions to support additional ministry. This past fiscal year, CEF approved $837,000 in special grants to home missions. Here are a few examples of congregations who are partnering/have partnered with CEF to expand their ministry:
Living Word Lutheran Church – Waukesha, Wis.
Living Word was recently approved for a facility loan and grant from CEF. Church members had also utilized CEF to purchase land across from Waukesha West High School. Through a building loan from CEF, Living Word hopes to create an environment for teenagers and people of all ages to connect with their Savior. Borgwardt says, “CEF has proven a vital partner in our efforts to build our ministry center. Without them we could not be formalizing our work with high school students, Christian Family Solutions, and the greater Waukesha community.” Learn more about this unique ministry by watching this video.
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church – Las Vegas, Nev.
Shepherd of the Hills broke ground on their new worship facility and ministry center in August 2017 after receiving a loan and grant from CEF. A building dedication service has been scheduled for August 19, 2018. To see building progress on their worship facility, check out this aerial video footage of the construction site.
Redemption Lutheran Church – Watertown, N.Y.
Redemption went from worshiping in a Ramada Inn conference room to a completely remodeled ministry center thanks to a loan and matching land and facility grants from CEF. With the Lord’s blessing, Redemption held their Grand Opening Worship Service on September 15, 2017, after construction was complete.
Rev. Keith Free, Home Missions administrator, says, “CEF is a critical partner in our efforts to share the gospel with those who do not know Jesus as their Savior. Their financial backing and expertise allows our home mission congregations to focus on the one thing needful – sharing the message of God’s grace.”
Your investment with WELS Church Extension Fund helps provide financing so home missions and other mission-minded, self-supporting congregations can purchase land and either build or renovate a worship facility. To learn more about investment opportunities, visit wels.net/cef.
- $25 million in new loans approved and $1.95 million in matching grants provided to home missions in 2017-2018
- Three land site purchases, one existing facility purchase, and four construction loans were approved by CEF for home mission congregations in 2017-2018
- Eight home mission congregations dedicated worship facilities in 2017; four home missions have already planned worship facility dedications for 2018
- 73 percent (152 loans) of CEF’s loan portfolio is for current or previous home mission congregations
Learn about the ministry work of WELS Missions.
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