In 2013, The Advocate was at the peak of our campaign to worship on the land. We had raised the funds to buy the land and to move what would become The Advocate Chapel, and we still needed to restore the chapel and to get the site up to code for use by a church (parking lot, sewer, pond repair, etc. etc.). We had raised a bunch of money (over $1.5 million), but not enough. So we took out two loans:
- A $150,000 loan from the North Carolina Episcopal Church Foundation. This loan is being paid at 2% interest over 10 years. The 10% payment and the 2% interest are both budgeted in the Advocate’s Annual Budget. About $90,000 remains to be paid on this loan.
- A $180,000 loan from an anonymous individual loaner. This loan was without interest for one year, then a 1.5% interest rate and interest-only payments for 4 years. After five years, the entire $180,000 is due. This is what could be called “a balloon loan”. It comes due early in 2018.
In 2016, the people of the Advocate received a challenge to raise $40,000 toward the retirement of this second debt. With significant stretch, Advocates stepped up. In November 2016 our $40,000 plus the challenge gift allowed us to pay of $80,000 of that $180,000 loan. $100,000 remains.
We have now been offered a generous $30,000 match for any gifts given by friends of the Advocate in 2017.
Any gift given by a friend of the Advocate – or by a friend or family member of a member of the Advocate — towards the Advocate’s debt retirement in 2016 will be matched up to $30,000 this year.
If we can meet this challenge, we will reduce the $100,000 remaining on this debt by $60,000.
That’s huge for us.
Checks should be designated for “Debt Relief” and written to The Episcopal Church of the Advocate (or ECOTA) and sent to 8410 Merin Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516.