Refinance Accomplished! Sugarloaf UMC Moves from Maintenance to Mission!


Dr. Steven Usry serves as lead pastor of Sugarloaf UMC in Duluth. In this communiqué written on January 9, 2020, he identifies the impact debt restructuring with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation (GUMF) has had on the life of the church.

Usry also expresses his gratitude to God, GUMF ministry partners Rev. Keith Lawder, Jim Pope, and Nancy Young, as well as leadership at The North Georgia Conference which includes Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, Keith Cox, Rev. Dr. Phil Schroeder, Rev. Dr. Mike Long, and Rev. Jane Newman Brooks.

Yesterday was a momentous day in the life of Sugarloaf United Methodist. We met with the wonderful folks at GUMF and were able to refinance the church with a conventional mortgage. This is a HALLELUJAH moment for the Kingdom that will secure the church's future and closes a long chapter of past struggle. I'm excited for the church! I've only been serving in this part of God's vineyard for a short while, but these folks have been through a lot and now get to celebrate a new day of hope and vitality for the future.

So we began the week with a 2020 Vision Night and surprised the folks who showed up with the news that we would be closing on Wednesday. We flung open the doors to roaring fire pits, went out and burned the old forbearance agreement, then had s'mores and cocoa to celebrate. This Sunday we will share the news with the church that Sugarloaf has officially moved from Maintenance to MISSION. They already know it. They feel it. They see it every day. The church is booming. But you see, many said it couldn't be done. It's going to be a BIG DEAL when they hear and see that it has happened. And we give ALL the glory to God! We have said that from the beginning!

Each of you share a portion of this work and celebration! Keith, Jim and Nancy: You continue to be longtime good friends to me in ministry, and I am excited that now Sugarloaf has a tie with GUMF. Thanks to each of you for your Kingdom ministry and how you have come alongside me personally.

Bishop Sue, Keith, Phil, Mike and Jane: You guys got it right in sending me here. We found good hearts. We found high capacity. They just needed health and leadership. The house is now in order. Refinanced. Restaffed. Cooking. Go God!

Thank you to each of you for your friendship and prayers. I know you have prayed for us.