With finalization of the sale of the USA Church of the Nazarene Loan Fund to the Wesleyan Investment Foundation (www.wifonline.com
), Marilyn McCool, general treasurer of the Church of the Nazarene, announced Friday that proceeds from the nearly US$27 million transaction have been used to pay the US$25 million debt on the church's Global Ministry Center (GMC) in Lenexa, Kansas, USA.
In 2007 the General Board approved the loan in the form of a tax-exempt bond issued by the city of Lenexa. Bonds were then purchased and held by Bank of America. The available funds were used to underwrite the cost of constructing and furnishing the 109,000-square-foot facility housing General Board departments and ministries, including the Board of General Superintendents (BGS), general secretary, and general treasurer.
"This is another example of God's grace in the life of our church," said McCool.
"We are pleased to retire the bonds early and pay off the loan nearly 16 years in advance, all made possible with the cooperation and support of the city of Lenexa and Bank of America," she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of General Superintendents, J. K. Warrick, chair, issued the following statement:
"This is a miracle. To be able to sell the church loan fund to the Wesleyan Investment Foundation and pay the entire debt on the GMC during tough economic times is the result of much prayer and deliberation on the part of the general superintendents, the General Board, and Nazarenes around the world. We are grateful to the city of Lenexa and Bank of America for working with us to accomplish this."
The annual debt for the GMC was serviced from the building fund and donor gifts, using no World Evangelism Fund (WEF) monies. The GMC business plan called for servicing the principal and interest on the debt with income from non-WEF sources. Since the beginning of the building project, no WEF dollars have been invested.
Until the payoff, announced on June 3, 2011, the plan was on target to meet all obligations according to commitments made to the denomination by the BGS.
The early debt retirement saves interest that would have been paid over the remaining 16 years of the loan. Interest income for debt servicing can now be made available for other areas of mission and ministry.
The remaining funds of approximately US$8 million after the payoff will become a long-term capital reserve investment as directed and approved by the Executive Committee of the General Board in consultation with the Investment Committee of the Church of the Nazarene.
The announcement of the bond payoff comes just after the closing of the sale of the USA Church of the Nazarene Loan Fund to the Wesleyan Investment Foundation.
The sequence of events, including the church loan fund sale and GMC debt retirement, was approved by the General Board session and the USA National Board meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, in February 2011.
--Board of General Superintendents