Church debt reduction, investments, loans for Chicago-area congregation

Service: Reduced Debt

Nestled 45 miles northwest of Chicago, an active church started by 19th Century Swedish immigrants has had multiple building projects and a fruitful partnership with Christian Investors Financial (CIF).

“You (CIF) are there to suggest things, you follow up well, are easy to work with and ultimately you are there to provide loans for Kingdom building,” said Business Director Mark Kolbe at The Evangelical Free Church (EFC) of Crystal Lake, Ill. The city is home to 40,000 residents in a county of 312,000.

Help with debt reduction, investments
Business Director Mark Kolbe

The church has worked with CIF on construction loans, investments and a three-year, $1.9 million debt reduction consulting campaign that was highly successful, Kolbe explained. Funds that previously went toward a mortgage payment have been invested back into ministry, missions, remodeling and infrastructure needs.

With about 725 attendees, The EFC of Crystal Lake’s vision is to Follow (Jesus), Connect (with fellow believers) and Make (disciples).

Strength in preaching, ministry

The church’s online resources paint a picture of strong, biblical preaching with a bountiful list of individual ministry options serving most any need. Key to church membership is a belief that, “The Body of Christ needs every one of us, for every believer plays a unique role in God’s family.”

Senior Pastor Jay Childs has been in full-time ministry since 1986, serving EFC of Crystal Lake for 10 years and previously churches in Michigan and Minnesota. The church has three additional pastors, eight directors, seven ministry staff and a building and grounds crew of six.

In 1945, the church voted to affiliate with the Swedish Evangelical Free Church of America, which joined the Evangelical Free Church Association to form the Evangelical Free Church of America in 1950.

The EFC of Crystal Lake began in 1893 with worship services in a chapel owned by C.S. Dole, a grain baron and ice harvester. Dole is also known for the still standing C.S. Dole Mansion, an Illinois landmark constructed in 1865 on a 12-acre lakefront site.

In 1903, the church was organized and incorporated as the Swedish Mission Church, explains church Connections Director Nina Lowe. Swedish speaking immigrants kept up their verbal tradition for services until 1936, when they switched to English.

Ease of use

In day-to-day financial operations for the church, Bookkeeper Emily Peterson said CIF has been very responsive. “They are readily available to answer our questions … or helping with tasks like transferring funds,” she said. CIF has also helped the church to meet local government requirements by responding to documentation requests.

Bookkeeper Emily Peterson

Click to learn more about the church. Information about CIF Church Loans, Investments and Consulting is available on the CIF website.

“You (CIF) are there to suggest things, you follow up well, are easy to work with and ultimately you are there to provide loans for Kingdom building.”

Business Director Mark Kolbe, The Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake
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