© 2013 ColumbiaFAVS.com, reprinted with permission.
After 12 years of looking for land, Pastor Mark Putnam has finally found a place to start building a new Victory Christian Church.
Victory Christian Church started 21 years ago in Putnam’s living room. Once membership began to grow, the parishioners moved to a nearby warehouse but knew they’d eventually need to find a building of their own.
“We started looking because God said, ‘Well, what if there’s land out there for you to have a building on it, but you're too lazy to go looking,’” Putnam said. “So we started looking.”
This led Victory Christian Church to its current location, but Putnam kept looking. He wanted an area that was at least 10 acres and would allow the church to expand.
Columbia Public Schools had 13.42 acres of land for sale and sold it to Putnam for $250,000. The church took out a loan to pay for the land, and before any building begins, the church is paying that loan off.
During every service, Putnam takes the regular offering and then does a special offering just for the land.
“We are taking offerings 'til Jesus comes back or the church is debt free,” Putnam said.
Once the current building is sold, the church will use the equity to put toward the new building. And "debt free" is the big catchphrase at Victory – the church doesn't want to acquire any building debt either.
“We are also building for generations to come,” Putnam said. “I want to set up my great-grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, people we don’t even know. I want to establish something that will be there, paid for.”
Putnam said he also believes that attending a church that is debt free will influence the lives of his congregation.
“They catch onto that whole attitude,” Putnam said. “And then their personal lives change, and they start getting out of debt.”
Since they won't have to pay off building debt, church members will be able to spend the money in other areas. Some of the plans include hiring staff and funding outreach programs and mission trips.
“We look at whatever project we’re working on, and whatever project I’m working on, I always find ways to spend money,” administrative Pastor Brian Jackson said.
Jackson believes that just having a new building will bring more people to the church.
“The fact that we’ll have a new facility that’s really close to a subdivision, you're going to see all these influxes of families just come to our church,” Jackson said. “Just to see new families come to our church is a really exciting thing.”
Terry Alexander, member of Victory Christian Church, expects the increase in traffic flow near the new building to bring more people to the church.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to take the word of Jesus Christ to a number of people,” Alexander said. “People will see the sign, they’ll get interested, they’ll come to the church, they’ll hear about Jesus Christ, they’ll get saved, and they’ll go to heaven.”
Once the new church is built, Putnam plans to hold multiple services to maximize the building's capacity. Currently, services are held at 10 a.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Heather Adams is a reporter for ColumbiaFAVS.com.