Crossroads United Church of Christ is a close-knit and vital congregation located on the east coast of central Florida in Melbourne—about 50 miles east of Orlando. Melbourne is in Brevard county, along with its northern neighbors Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center.
John Fox, Senior Elder at Crossroads, shares that the church has a unique membership/attendance situation: “There are about 60 members, but regular Sunday attendance is usually greater than the actual membership. Even our giving units are higher than would be expected for only 60 members. We have a number of ‘snowbirds’ who contribute all year, and we also tend to attract people who attend and give regularly, but haven’t elected to join the church.”
Despite the generosity of the Crossroads members and attendees, Fox said about five years ago they found themselves in the midst of a budget shortage. It was also time for them to refinance their existing balloon mortgage loan. They began researching their options. Their current lender offered favorable rates and they looked into the Cornerstone Fund and found that they also help churches with refinancing. They ultimately made the decision to stay with their lender, who, unfortunately, became increasingly difficult to work with.
Fox decided to contact Cornerstone Fund to ask them some very detailed questions about refinancing. He was pleased with all of the information he received, and this allowed him to be able to explain the benefits of a Cornerstone Fund mortgage to the council and congregation. They decided to refinance with the Cornerstone Fund.
“So far our experience with the Cornerstone Fund has been exemplary. They have been very accommodating. One of the best features of our loan is that we’ve lowered our payments.”
Fox said the church’s original plan for their Cornerstone Loan was to only pay off their balloon. They ended up with more than they needed so their council decided to hold onto the funds until the end of the fiscal year in case they needed them to pay for some already planned expenditures. To date, they still have no specific plans for the funds, and may use them to reduce their principal or put them toward a number of projects that could be completed with this infusion of funds.
“So far our experience with the Cornerstone Fund has been exemplary. They have been very accommodating. One of the best features of our loan is that we’ve lowered our payments.” Fox states that he would definitely recommend the Cornerstone Fund to other UCC churches. “The service is excellent.”
“I have also let our members know that the Cornerstone Fund gives them the opportunity to invest their retirement funds, and many are doing just that—with confidence and the satisfaction of knowing that their individual investments also help UCC churches in need of financial assistance.”