Five years ago, Pukekohe Reformed Church were quickly outgrowing their 80 year old building, and on their way to expanding their church home of over 30 years. The space really didn’t encourage people to hang around after the service as it was so tight and small, and there wasn’t room for the boom of families moving to the area.
The church had been saving hard for over a decade for a new build, along with planning the stages of redevelopment on the current site. When it came to sourcing finance, ‘Banks just didn’t want to be involved,’ says Jerome Kloeg, one of the team from Pukekohe Reformed. ‘They wouldn’t lend what we needed on the basis that donations didn’t count as ‘income’. There was no real understanding of how church finance worked – even though we had over 20 year’s history as their customer.’ So it was back to the drawing board for the project.
A member of the church mentioned checking out Christian Savings (at the time Baptist Savings) and we started a conversation. ‘Nothing was too hard, documents were drawn up in record time, and even now, servicing the mortgage or restructuring, nothing’s a hassle, Christian Savings are always keen to help and eager to serve. A month or two later, funding was secured and demolition began on what would become a single-stage turnkey project – an outcome better than we ever could have hoped for.’
Construction for the $2.5 million building project kicked off in August 2013, and by March 2014 the church had their official opening, including an open day for the community to check out the brand-new facility. ‘We couldn’t have done the build without Christian Savings, they’ve been an absolute dream to work with – to partner with someone that’s ultimately there to build churches, when banks are just in it for the money. We feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to have been pointed in your direction!’
From a crammed, tired space, their ‘new’ church is now functional and is used often throughout the week. Four and a half years on, church numbers continue to grow and they currently have a membership just on 300, including around 80 kids! The new facility attracts many visitors, as the space is now light and bright, warm in winter, cool in summer, and still has room for growth. The facility is also regularly used by community groups, for children’s & youth groups and holiday programmes.
‘Christian Savings are skilled in finance, that’s your gift and you are using it for the building of God’s kingdom – now that’s something worth supporting!’ says Jerome.
"Any organisation where their goal is to spread the gospel, which in your case, is through funding the building of church facilities – what a great investment vehicle to be a part of – given our money is not our own to begin with anyway."