Pierce Chapel UMC Finds Hassle-Free Refinancing


Refinancing debt with a commercial lender can be a hassle. First, you need to negotiate origination or commitment fees and intangible taxes. Next, there is a lengthy loan underwriting process that may uncover last-minute hoops to jump through. Then, you wait to receive the loan committee’s approval.

In July 2011, Pierce Chapel UMC in Columbus, Georgia was pleased to discover how easy it was to refinance its $1.6 million mortgage with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. “The process was painless. It didn’t take much time. The paperwork was very easy to fill out, and the Foundation was great to work with,” said church treasurer Ben Armistead. “We also felt much safer keeping our money within the Methodist family. I would highly recommend the Foundation to any church that may be thinking about refinancing or taking out a loan to build.”

Frank Craft, the Foundation’s former director of lending services, said, “We try to keep the loan process as simple as possible. At the Foundation, you deal with only one person on terms and conditions. It’s a relatively quick underwriting process, and we have the ability to respond in a prompt manner.”

In addition to hassle-free refinancing, Pierce Chapel took advantage of lower interest rates that reduced their mortgage payments by over $10,000 each year. “The monies we save each month are being used to pay down the principal,” Ben said.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2011 edition of Faith & Money.