The Rev. Jerry Johnston's First Family Church is facing foreclosure. The Kansas City Star reported today that Regions Bank wants the Overland Park megachurch to pay more than $14 million in mortgage and other costs or the bank will foreclose on the property, sell it and use the proceeds to pay off the church's debt.
The church issued a statement on its website blaming the foreclosure on the economy and citing a Wall Street Journal report about similar instances at churches across the country.
"Your church leadership, pastors, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders
have been praying and in a spirit of unity," the statement said. "We are
confident to resolve this situation while all ministries and worship
services continue as scheduled on our campus."
Here are the highlights of the statement:
* FFC remains proactive with the lender in working out a successful financial debt restructuring that will bridge the challenges of the current situation.The Star reports that foreclosure could take anywhere from four to six months; the bank sent a letter to the church in September seeking payment.
* The bank filing was something the Church was expecting, as it is standard Administrative Process required of lenders while working to restructure the debt.
* FFC has demonstrated by internal financial management that it has the capacity to enter into a restructuring with Regions that will repay this debt in full. We are confident that a resolution will be accomplished.
* This development toward First Family Church by Regions is consistent with the Bank's actions since they accelerated the mortgage maturity from 30 years to 5 years recently forcing this situation even while First Family Church was current in its obligations. We recognize banks today are under immense pressure by federal regulators. These are uncertain economic times.
* While FFC continues negotiations with Regions Bank, the mission, ministries, worship services, and Conquest Initiatives will continue without interruption on our campus. We will resolve this matter to the satisfaction of the bank and First Family Church.
* Please continue to pray and rest assured your Elder Board is working diligently to resolve this matter. Church members are encouraged to contact the Elders and Chief Financial Officer of First Family Church at the church office with any questions.