Uncle Sam helped Christian congregations and universities pay salaries



At least 47 Churches of Christ across the country have received loans of $ 150,000 or more through the federal government coronavirus relief bill, a Christian Chronicle analysis found.

In total, these Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act loans amounted to at least $ 9,450,000 – and up to $ 23 million – for the Churches of Christ, according to a list released this week by the US Small Business Administration.

The economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic sparked the passage of the $ 670 billion Payroll Protection Plan – which was designed to prevent massive layoffs by small businesses across the country.

Related: Uncle Sam pays salaries to church

Approximately 1,900 jobs, from ministry staff to day care workers, have been retained by the Listed Churches of Christ. However, federal data did not cite specific figures for a few congregations that received funds.

Additionally, the names of loan recipients, including churches, who received less than $ 150,000 were not disclosed. These unidentified beneficiaries represent over 80 percent of total loans.

Meanwhile, at least 10 higher education institutions associated with the Churches of Christ have obtained loans.

The combined total amount received by these universities was between $ 11,200,000 and $ 27,350,000. About 2,500 jobs have been kept in these schools, according to the government.

Noticeably absent from the list: Christian University of Abilene in Texas, Harding University in Searcy, Ark., Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Typically, organizations, including faith-based institutions, that employ less than 500 people were eligible for the funds. These universities are all over the limit.

Recipients can request a loan forgiveness if they spend at least 75% on staff costs and the balance on mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

The Churches of Christ debated whether or not to accept Uncle Sam’s help.

After the adoption of the Payroll Protection Plan, many congregations across the country debated whether to seek government assistance or depend entirely on membership fees.

Of the 30 largest Churches of Christ in the country (as noted in a published directory by Christians of the 21st Century), 19 congregations were among those that received loans of $ 150,000 or more.

Data analysis was performed for the the Chronicle through Ryan Burge, assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University.

Here is the list of Churches of Christ and Christian universities identified by the government:

$ 2 million to $ 5 million

Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama (494 jobs retained).

Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, Tennessee (380 jobs retained).

Lubbock Christian University, Texas (321 jobs retained).

Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City (440 jobs retained).

$ 1 million to $ 2 million

Florida College, Temple Terrace, Florida (144 jobs retained).

University of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Michigan (214 jobs retained).

The Hills Church of Christ, North Richland Hills, Texas (254 jobs retained).

$ 350,000 to $ 1 million

Crowley’s Ridge College, Paragould, Ark. (77 jobs retained).

Pleasant Valley Church of Christ, Little Rock, Ark. (48 jobs retained).

York College, Nebraska (240 jobs retained).

Memorial Road Church of Christ, Edmond, Oklahoma (39 jobs retained).

Related: Should Uncle Sam Pay the Salaries of Ministers of the Churches of Christ?

Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Brentwood, Tennessee (32 jobs retained).

Highland Street Church of Christ, Cordova, Tenn. (45 jobs retained).

North Boulevard Church of Christ, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (74 jobs retained).

Otter Creek Church of Christ, Brentwood, Tennessee (61 jobs retained).

Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ, Austin, Texas (100 jobs retained).

Ohio Valley University, Vienna, W.Va. (173 jobs retained).

$ 150,000 to $ 350,000

Twickenham Church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama (28 jobs retained).

Southwest Church of Christ, Jonesboro, Ark. (15 jobs retained).

Campbell Church of Christ, California (number of retained jobs not available).

Hilltop Community Church of Christ, El Segundo, California (22 jobs retained).

Church of Christ Campus, Norcross, Georgia (15 jobs retained).

Church of Christ in northern Atlanta, Georgia. (34 jobs retained).

North River Church of Christ, Marietta, Georgia (27 jobs retained).

Southeastern Church of Christ, Indianapolis (36 jobs retained).

The Park Church of Christ, Tulsa, Oklahoma (34 jobs retained).

Related: COVID-19: The Numbers and Beyond, What Churches of Christ Need to Know

College Hills Church of Christ, Lebanon, Tennessee (14 posts retained).

East Brainerd Church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee (number of retained jobs not available).

Ethos Church of Christ, Nashville, Tennessee (33 jobs retained).

Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, Franklin, Tennessee (14 jobs retained).

Hendersonville Church of Christ, Tennessee (number of retained jobs not available).

Karns Church of Christ, Knoxville, Tenn. (11 jobs retained).

Madison Church of Christ, Tennessee (23 jobs retained).

Riverside Church of Christ, Fayetteville, Tennessee (45 jobs retained).

A&M Church of Christ, College Station, Texas (64 jobs retained).

Alpine Church of Christ, Longview, Texas (60 jobs retained).

Broadway Church of Christ, Lubbock, Texas (37 jobs retained).

First Colony Church of Christ, Sugar Land, Texas (59 jobs retained).

Golf Course Road Church of Christ, Midland, Texas (48 jobs retained).

Grace Crossing Community Church of Christ, Conroe, Texas (52 jobs retained).

Green Lawn Church of Christ, Lubbock, Texas (48 jobs retained).

Church of Christ in Greenville Oaks, Allen, Texas (48 jobs retained).

Heritage Church of Christ, Fort Worth, Texas (22 jobs retained).

Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas (91 jobs retained).

Highland Oaks Church of Christ, Dallas (27 jobs retained).

Legacy Church of Christ, North Richland Hills, Texas (19 jobs retained).

Monterey Church of Christ, Lubbock, Texas (30 posts preserved).

Preston Road Church of Christ, Dallas (19 jobs retained).

Prestoncrest Church of Christ, Dallas (22 jobs retained).

Richardson East Church of Christ, Huntsville, Texas (44 jobs retained).

Related: As thousands of people die from coronavirus, does Jesus care?

Saturn Road Church of Christ, Garland, Texas (17 jobs retained).

Song of the Oaks Church of Christ, Denton, Texas (26 jobs retained).

Skillman Church of Christ, Dallas (25 jobs retained).

Southern Hills Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas (34 jobs retained).

Southwestern Christian College, Terrell, Texas (number of retained jobs not available).

McDermott Road Church of Christ, Plano, Texas (22 jobs retained).

Westover Hills Church of Christ, Austin, Texas (26 jobs retained).

BOBBY ROSS JR. is editor-in-chief of The Christian Chronicle. Reach it at [email protected].

Filed under:
Christian universities
coronavirus help
Coronavirus Humanitarian Aid and Economic Security Act
federal government
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