Praise Report: Burning the Mortgage at Church of the Savior

Church of the Savior - mortgage burning

On February 12, Church of the Savior in Ambridge, PA, held a ceremony to burn their now-paid-off mortgage papers in the alley behind their church. This financial feat was made possible by a capital campaign initiated in 2017, which raised over $350,000 in just five years—45% coming from Church of the Savior’s members and the remainder from outside donors—enough to fund much-needed upgrades to the building and to pay off the remainder of their $404,000 mortgage years earlier than expected. 

As Church of the Savior’s rector, the Rev. Dennett Beuttner, remembers, “ten years ago, when we were initially considering a capital campaign, Sarah Kwolek consulted with our vestry from her experience in the world of professional fundraising. Her comment was, ‘Typically when you’re considering undertaking a capital campaign, you do a feasibility study first; but this campaign clearly isn’t feasible, so we don’t need to!’ Not feasible by human ingenuity and effort, but entirely feasible for God.”  

Trusting in God beyond what may have been "feasible," in 2017 their vestry created a comprehensive plan for building maintenance and improvements, including crucial repairs such as roof replacement and masonry work. Initially, the projected cost of achieving these goals was $335,000, but inflation and the additional objective of paying off their mortgage early increased the estimate to $507,000. Through prayer, trust, and the generosity of their donors, the church has already been able able to raise the majority of the amount needed. Not only were they able to pay off their mortgage early, but they have also been able to undertake their roof replacement, exterior wall rebuilding, and sanctuary improvements ahead of schedule.

According to Dennett, “the discharge of the building mortgage early in 2023 will afford us significant opportunities we have not previously had. Elimination of debt service from our operating budget releases an additional $26,000 a year for ministry in Ambridge.”

However, the congregation still has more work to do to fund and complete the rest of their planned projects. “Even as we quite rightly rejoice in the Lord’s goodness and provision to us,” Dennett said, “we need equally to continue to pray, work, and give to achieve the campaign goal of a building free of major maintenance needs for the next twenty years.” Please join us in praising God and praying for his continued provision at Church of the Savior.

Thank you for sharing your encouraging story with us, Church of the Savior!

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