CIF talks with Senior Pastor Chris Holck of Live Oaks Community Church in The Villages, Florida.
Who is Live Oaks?
LOCC is a 5 ½-year-old church that began with four people in 2012. The church has grown rapidly, averaging 267 people (adults) in 2016. But after moving into a new facility in August 2017, attendance rose quickly to an average of 423 for the month of September. Today, attendance is at more than 600.
Live Oaks Community Church serves The Villages and the surrounding area of central Florida. The Villages is the world’s largest retirement community with a population of 120,000. The focus of the church has been, and continues to be, on the Baby Boomers or the “young old,” so this older adult congregation has a very active personality and is full of life.
What was your ministry challenge and what led you to CIF?
LOCC first contacted CIF for help with a capital campaign. The typical ratios indicated that a $1.5-million-dollar campaign would have been overachieving, but the goal was set for $2.5 million—and that goal has been achieved.
Being a new church with a strong, but short, financial track record, LOCC was not eligible for a loan with a conventional banking institution. We contacted CIF, and they eagerly worked with us, ultimately offering a loan that met our needs.
What was it like working with CIF?
The godly counsel that came from CIF coupled with their financial insights provided just what we needed to move forward. When they said they would pray for us, they meant it! When they called, it wasn’t all business; their sincere concern for our staff and church was obvious.
Their joy for the success of our church came through loud and clear. I looked forward to our conversations.
How did things turn out?
We raised funds, developed a new campus and built a new building and did it the right way. The financial assistance from CIF coupled with the generosity of our congregation allowed us to build something everyone was proud of. We didn’t have to cut corners on quality.
The result is that we have a campus and building that everyone loves, and we have a mortgage payment that fits perfectly into our cash flow.
CIF provided the financial expertise and the godly counsel that made them a perfect partner for our church as we grew. I don’t believe that their personal touch could be matched by any other financial organization. We are fortunate to have them serving as a partner of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
*Photo credit: Lyle Hintermeister