TMF Loan Becomes “Shelter from the Storm” for New Mexico ChurchEmail This Share This Tweet This
by Randy Worley, Chairman, Finance Committee, FUMC Artesia
First United Methodist Church in Artesia has been serving congregants longer than New Mexico has been a state. Started in a tent in 1902, when New Mexico was still a U.S. territory, the church has been a mainstay in the community for more than a century.
A permanent church sanctuary was constructed in 1923, and in the years that followed two additional buildings were built, which were directly connected to the Sanctuary.
Our Fellowship Hall had its last major renovation 1978, and in the years since, the hall started to fall into disrepair, even as the needs of the congregation and community had grown and evolved. The old hall was a two-story building that lacked open space for kids to play, and it had an old kitchen that created challenges for the church’s Meals on Wheels and Food Panty ministries.
After years of deliberations, church leadership decided to look into building a new Fellowship Hall. But they weren’t sure of the best way to finance the project.
I contacted John Rivas, TMF’s Executive Director for New Mexico Activities, and he put me in touch with David McCaskill, Senior Vice President of Loans. David and I had several important and informative discussions. We discussed our objectives, and he showed us how TMF could provide financing options that we wouldn’t be able to obtain from a traditional financial institution. The whole team at TMF was there for us through every step of the process. It could not have been a better experience.
When the new Fellowship Hall opened in February 2016, the congregation was thrilled. We had a new, well-designed and extremely useful space that could more effectively serve the community for decades.
The true significance of the new Fellowship Hall was powerfully demonstrated during Artesia’s “Round Up” celebration in August.
At Round Up, we hold services in a local park and invite the whole community to participate. This is followed by games, music and lots of BBQ. It’s our biggest event of the year.
Unfortunately, last year it coincided with huge storm that brought more than two inches or rain. In previous years, this would have been a catastrophe. We would have had no option but to cancel or at least postpone the Round Up. And all of the time and effort of our volunteers would have been for naught.
But with our beautiful new Fellowship Hall, we were able to invite all of our neighbors over to “our house,” where there was plenty of room for all the activities that we would have held outside. It was one of our most successful Round Ups ever.
We can thank the good folks at TMF for helping to provide our church community with shelter from the storm.
Editor’s note: Our TMF blog shares stories and essays inspired by our purpose: to help individuals, families, congregations and like-minded organizations achieve their God-inspired potential. Randy Worley of First United Methodist Church Artesia shares how TMF worked with FUMC Artesia to finance a building loan that would enable the church to better serve their congregation and community.