Church that Chose Mission Over Mortgage Exits Bankruptcy

Record numbers of churches are losing their facilities.

The record number of church foreclosures keeps climbing. Almost 140 American churches were sold by banks in 2011 after defaulting on their loans, Reuters reported. Almost 300 churches have defaulted since 2010 as banks have become more reluctant to refinance.

For the Church at South Las Vegas, which sparked debate when it stopped paying its mortgage last May and filed for Chapter 11 protection in July, a financial benefactor has stepped in and prevented the congregation from facing foreclosure.

The Las Vegas church, which owed nearly $8 million on property now worth only $2.4 million, had enough money to make its monthly mortgage payments but believed it was bad stewardship to have tithes keep going into a "black hole" of debt instead of toward its mission. The unusual move sparked debate over Christian ethics.

But last month, Canadian businessman and philanthropist Ron Fehr, a friend of church board member Jude Fouquier, pledged to provide $3 million to help the church, the Las Vegas Review-Journalreported. ...

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