A Cause for Celebration: Church Marks Financial, Spiritual Freedom Milestones

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Great Lakes

By Julie Campbell

In today’s world, not many churches have the privilege of paying off their mortgages. But last month, one Indiana church celebrated its newfound financial freedom in a big way. During a special “Freedom Sunday” service on July 9, Adamsville Road Church of God in Elkhart officially burned its mortgage.

The service also included “a testimony of freedom from drug addiction, and a baptism—spiritual freedom,” explained Pastor Glen McClimans. McClimans, who has been the pastor of Adamsville Road since July 2019, has led the church through the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a merger with First Church of God Elkhart in 2022, following a two-year partnership.

After Adamsville Road paid off its first mortgage in 2005, the church broke ground for a new sanctuary and lobby area in 2009 with a mortgage of approximately $1 million.

“The congregation had completed a giving campaign a few years before I was called as senior pastor. The heart of many was to pay off the debt that strangled our budget for years,” said Pastor Glenn. “Giving campaigns paralleled mortgage renewals at regular intervals. Approximately $350,000 remained in 2019.”

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut most everything down having to do with in-person meetings and gatherings. The Adamsville Road Church dug deep, solidifying their online presence/experience that features a Sunday worship and a cyber prayer gathering that launched in mid-2020. With a loss of income and congregants due to COVID-19, the change to governance, relocations, and normal membership migration, the congregation resized the paid staff to represent the congregation size and bring a manageable annual budget in balance.

When the church finally merged with First Church of God Elkhart in 2022, First Church was able to bring its facility asset to the new union. The sale of the First Church facility paid off the last $175,000 of the Adamsville Road mortgage. Now, the church is excited to turn its resources into ministry, with a renewed focus on reaching families, the community, and workplaces with the gospel.

Baptism, symbolizing spiritual freedom, on the same Sunday as the mortgage burning.

“A partnership with our local elementary school has given many new and fresh connections,” explained Pastor Glenn. “A grant from Center for Congregations, Indiana, has allowed us to partner with Intentional Churches, giving focus to the “ones”—those who need Jesus within our congregational circles of influence.”

The church’s mission is “Making Jesus the Subject by Fostering Disciples who Reproduce.”

“We are committed to equipping and resourcing individuals to reach their ‘ones,’” Pastor Glenn said. “For too many years the budget revolved around the facility—inward. Now we can focus on ministry beyond those walls!”

Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Christian Resources (formerly Warner Press) and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband Russ on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled red Doberman.

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) photo: Former pastor Mike Stadelmayer and current pastor Glenn McClimans burn the mortgage papers.

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