Shredded and Burned Churches Eliminate Debt

It's a proud moment in a church's history when a mortgage is paid in full.

Two churches in Washington Conference recently celebrated this milestone: Auburn Academy Church and Tacoma South Side Church.

Six years ago, the Auburn Academy Church secured a mortgage to renovate their church facilities. In early November, the church celebrated completing the payments by shredding the mortgage during the church service.

The Tacoma South Side congregation hit an even bigger milestone. They eliminated their debt on their entire church facility. The congregation had worshiped in two other church buildings before constructing their current $1.25 million church building 13 years ago.

John Freedman, Washington Conference president, spoke during the Sabbath afternoon mortgage-burning ceremony.

A church with a paid-off mortgage, Freedman explained, is now able to pursue more ministry opportunities with the resources previously tied up in payment plans.

"Tacoma South Side is here to spread a message of freedom [from sin] in this community," Freedman said. "You've been set free from debt, not just of finances but also from sin. I challenge you to let this church be a place of freedom and a house of prayer where people can encounter God, break the chains of sin and be set free."

Featured in: January 2007