On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed into law to help distribute capital quickly and broadly to businesses, non-profit organizations and churches impacted by COVID-19. This Act allocates almost $350 billion to help businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. The section of the Act known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides federally guaranteed loans to eligible organizations. Businesses, non-profit organizations and churches like Calvary Church, can use the funds to help meet certain working capital needs and operating expenses as they recover from the pandemic’s impact. Up to 100 percent of the loan principal may be forgiven if the funds are used to maintain employment and wage levels, among other considerations.
With this information in mind, Calvary Church has applied for and received a Small Business Administration (SBA)-backed loan in the amount of $875,090.00 from Chemical Bank. These funds will be used to pay employee salaries and other associated expenses for a period of time during this COVID-19 pandemic. Our intention throughout this season has been to maintain our staff hours and wage levels in order to continue ministry and serve our congregation and community. We believe this loan will help us reach that goal. As we recognize that the economic uncertainty of this time may affect our congregation’s ability to give moving forward, we are especially grateful for God’s provision in this manner. In light of how the loan is being used, we fully expect that it will be forgiven at the end of this period.
The elders prayerfully considered the decision to pursue and accept this funding. God used His Word to clearly guide them in this decision. Three stories from the Bible informed the elders decision: the Israelites exodus from Egypt with the spoils of Egypt (Exodus 12); the Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6); and Cyrus the Great of Persia supporting and funding the rebuilding of God’s Temple (Ezra 1). In each of these situations, God used secular nations and governments to support and bless His people. In these stories, we see both how God reveals Himself (to those who follow Him and to those who fight Him) and how He brings blessings even in the midst of trials and difficulties.
Also, while some may question whether receiving these relief funds violates the separation of church and state, we do not believe that to be the case. For further insight into this potential issue, we offer the following resources:
- Do SBA-Backed Loans for COVID-19 Relief Violate Separation of Church and State?
- Here’s Why You Should Take the CARES Act: One-on-One with Marco Rubio
- SBA Faith-Based Organization FAQ
If you have any questions about this loan or other matters of the operation of the church in this season, please contact Tom Olsson at ext. 5289.