“Terri and her team were readily available to answer the few questions that we had, and we got a quick and positive response from the loan committee. We were then able to accomplish the roof replacement as planned. We highly recommend that when you are looking for funding to accomplish your next major church project that you talk with the Development Fund.” – Bob Kirsch, Board of Finance Chair, Government Street UMC
One of the most awe-inspiring things we get to witness at the Alabama-West Florida Development Fund and UM Foundation is God working through individuals and churches to fulfill the Great Commission. In the Alabama-West Florida Conference, churches, agencies, and missions are building God’s kingdom in so many different ways.
The Development Fund was established as a non-profit in 1984 to provide a locally-based, low-interest loan alternative specifically created with churches and ministries within our Alabama-West Florida Conference in mind. The board of directors is made up of United Methodists and AWF Conference staff with both financial backgrounds and experience in meeting Book of Discipline guidelines. Loans are backed by Development Fund investors who are dedicated to the mission and vision of the local church. Working with the Development Fund, churches and ministries receive step-by-step guidance through the application and loan process, financing options, answers to committee questions, and help with other needs that arise.
The Development Fund has helped play an important part in fueling the growth, expansion, and renovation needs of the AWF conference for over 37 years, loaning more than $20.5 million to churches, agencies, and ministries in the AWF Conference. Loans generally fall under the categories of new church construction, purchasing property, or major renovation projects. Loans across our conference have helped with refinancing large loans; building new sanctuaries and recreation centers; and expanding ministries through property purchases, roof replacements, air-conditioning replacements, landscaping, interior and exterior remodeling, parking lot expansions, and much more.
“Terri Turner and the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Foundation’s staff guided us through a clear and simple loan process. They have always responded promptly to any of our questions and concerns.” – Dr. Scott Christopher Hohn, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church
Types of loans
- New Church Construction
- Purchasing Property
- Major Renovation Projects
- Refinancing Large Loans
Why Borrow from the Development Fund?
- Low-interest loans for up to $1 million.* Rates are typically lower than commercial rates, and Development Fund rates are currently set at 3.95% (this rate is set quarterly by the Development Fund Board of Directors).
- Loan terms for up to 15 years
- Fixed interest rates for one year
- Competitive interest rates
- No points or closing costs
- Excellent service provided by the Development Fund Board, which consists of United Methodists with expertise in finance and banking and experience in complying with Book of Discipline guidelines for building and loan projects
Three main goals to address when beginning the loan process:
- Meet the Requirements: Meet Book of Discipline guidelines and requirements, get approval from the District Buildings and Location Committee, get approval at a called church conference, and fill out a loan application. The loan application must be completed with all relevant statistical and financial information about the church’s congregation, and the proposed construction plan must be completed and received by the Development Fund office. The church must also provide a legal description of the property.
- Secure Needed Pledges: Secure pledges from the congregation for two to three years of the amortization schedule (monthly payments). The church must sign a mortgage and promissory note and have recorded the first mortgage on the property with lien evidenced by a mortgage’s title insurance policy issued by a title insurance company licensed in Alabama or Florida.
- Save 10% of Proposed Project: A minimum of 10% of the total cost of the proposed project must be placed in a separate building fund account at the time the loan is approved.
The Development Fund is a great option to finance your next project, whether building, expanding, renovating, or refinancing. To get started and see if your church or ministry qualifies, contact Terri Turner at [email protected] or 334-793-6820.
*For loans larger than $1 million, contact us! The Foundation has the ability to negotiate with other sources for larger loans.