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Ahead Of Schedule

Harrisonburg First Assembly Of God Celebrates Early Mortgage Payoff

Posted: November 8, 2014

By CANDACE SIPOS

Daily News-Record

 

Harrisonburg First Assembly of God recently paid off a 20-year, $1.3 million mortgage in 11 years and eight months. But the real kicker, church leaders say, is that the church maintained its mission of allocating 20 percent of its funds toward missions, both local and international, throughout that time.
So, the church did just that with a service Oct. 26, complete with a showcase of church ministries and a visit from guest speaker Ken Burtram, superintendent of the Potomac Ministry Network Assemblies of God.

“We wanted to have a family celebration as a church family for a major milestone,” said Pastor Jeff Ferguson.

What was the secret to the early payoff? Just that the congregants followed the biblical principle of tithing, or setting aside 10 percent of one’s income for the church, Ferguson said.

“It speaks to God’s faithfulness that if you honor Him, He’ll honor you,” he added.

The $1.3 million expansion, construction for which began in September 2002, brought the church a new multipurpose sanctuary/gym/fellowship hall, kitchen, classroom/conference room and new offices and restrooms, in addition to other improvements, Ferguson said. The next major phase of construction will be a new dedicated sanctuary, but the church will wait until it moves to two Sunday morning services again — the same situation that precipitated the building of the current sanctuary, Ferguson’s wife, Bonnie, said.

Before the 2002 expansion, the church held two services every Sunday morning for five years, Ferguson said. Roughly 270 people attended the special service last weekend, which is typical for Sunday mornings now, he added.

The congregation, founded in 1968, has come a long way since its humble beginnings, when it met in a doublewide modular unit. In 1980, the church built classrooms and the old sanctuary.

The church’s newfound debt-free status “has certainly freed us up to do other outreach ministries,” Ferguson said.

Harrisonburg First Assembly of God financially supports several local organizations, such as East Gate Ministries, First Step and Mercy House, as well as missionaries around the world.

The Fergusons have been leading the congregation for 26 years.

For more information on Harrisonburg First Assembly of God, visit HFAchurch.org.

Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or csipos@dnronline.com