A Michigan church is celebrating being debt-free after paying off its more than $2 million mortgage in a short amount of time.
“Just 14 years ago, Galilee Baptist Church moved into a new building in Kalamazoo’s Northside neighborhood, and the senior pastor said it’s the community’s support that got them to where they are today: debt-free,” Fox 17 reported last week.
Neighbors are quite familiar with the house of worship that has served them for about 60 years.
“I believe that if we were not here, there would be a huge void being that we are located in this particular section of the Northside,” said Senior Pastor Dr. Michael T. Scott.
“We get a lot of walk-ins, individuals that are in the community that know that we are here, people are hungry, children need pampers, and individuals need financial support,” he added.
When the church changed locations, it gained an expensive mortgage.
“We were looking at 30 years of a total of about $2.5 million, and so we had to really be intentional with making our payments and doubling up with our payments,” the pastor said.
However, the church made its final payment just before the new year which it said was a huge accomplishment during a time when so many are struggling.
Scott praised the congregation for helping them reach the goal so they can continue helping their neighbors.
“A lot of people are going through trials and tribulations, personally and financially, mentally, spiritually, and so I like to believe that the church is something that reaches all of those areas,” he said.
“I would hate to think what it would be like if we were not here,” Scott noted.
On December 31, the church gathered for a “Mortgage Burning Ceremony” outside the building:
Galilee Baptist Church "Mortgage Burning Ceremony" 2020
Posted by The Galilee Baptist Church on Thursday, December 31, 2020
“To God be the glory!” one person in attendance said as the document burned.
On what appeared to be his Twitter profile, Scott shared photos of the event, writing, “What a great way to end 2020 tonight by burning the church mortgage and liquidation of all debt $2M”:
What a great way to end 2020 tonight by burning the church mortgage and liquidation of all debt $2M‼️ I’m saying to God be the glory! Let’s celebrate @GBCKazoo family tonight at Watchnight NYE virtual service 11pm EST pic.twitter.com/7NAVbtYP6U
— Dr. Michael T Scott, Sr.™️ (@DrMTScott) December 31, 2020
The church is planning a second expansion so it can eventually serve more residents in Kalamazoo.