Church finances are a mixed bag - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Church finances are a mixed bag

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Lee County church has put its building up for sale because of the tough economy. The Lutheran Church of Our Savior is located at the corner of Highway 82 and Hickory Grove Road in Lee County.

Ben it seems the sign of the times, has become a for sale sign. There's a for sale sign on the front of the church site, the building is listed for sale on Webb Properties website.

The congregation's president didn't want to elaborate on what type of financial situation the church was in, just that there have been tough times, so we talked with churches to see if the tough economy is causing them a hardship.

"We've got a food pantry ministry here we've seen an increase for that for assistance with food," said Pastor Joe Carr.

 "Our money runs out quickly here too, I have money to help and it's gone almost as quickly as it comes in," says Reverend Bill Stewart.

Primarily the churches we spoke with were shocked they haven't seen more of a decline in their offerings, especially with the increasing number of layoffs in southwest Georgia.

"It maybe down just a little bit, but not what you would expect with news of Cooper closing and some of the other things going on in the economy," said Carr.

 Pastor Joe Carr and Reverend Bill Stewart say it's likely some churches won't see a decline because of core church members and while many maybe unemployed or pressed to cut back on spending, they don't look at giving as a requirement but as a response to what they have.

"It goes to their values and what they see as important," said Carr.

"Giving is more of a response of thanks giving, that we give because of what we have been given then your priorities remain the same and you may cut back on what your giving, but you don't change what you give," says Stewart.

In fact the First Baptist Church of Putney has gone as far as holding a financial peace class, teaching members or anyone interested how to manage their money, how to save, and how to pay off debt. 

Pastors say they expect the calls they're receiving from people looking for assistance to continue to grow.


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