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Kalamazoo church pays off $2.5M of debt in midst of pandemic

Galilee Baptist Church - Kalamazoo's Northside Neighborhood
Posted at 3:53 PM, Jan 07, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A west Michigan church is starting 2021 debt-free after paying off its more than $2 million mortgage in half the time.

Just 14 years ago, Galilee Baptist Church moved into a new building in Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood, and the senior pastor said it's the community's support that got them to where they are today: debt-free.

"The church, particularly, the Black church has always been the hub of the local community," said Galilee Baptist Church's Senior Pastor Dr. Michael T. Scott.

Galilee Baptist Church has become a staple in the Northside neighborhood of Kalamazoo, serving the community for around 60 years.

"I believe that if we were not here, there would be a huge void being that we are located in this particular section of the Northside. We get a lot of walk-ins, individuals that are in the community that know that we are here, people are hungry, children need pampers, and individuals need financial support," said Dr. Scott.

Just 14 years ago, they moved into the new building to expand and grow to serve even more but gained a $2.5 million mortgage.

"We were looking at 30 years of a total of about $2.5 million, and so we had to really be intentional with making our payments and doubling up with our payments," said Dr. Scott.

Making their last payment right before the new year burning off their mortgage, they came into 2021 debt-free. An accomplishment, they said in a day and time where churches are closing their doors, and money is tight.

They said it's all thanks to their congregation for helping them continue to serve those in need.

"A lot of people are going through trials and tribulations, personally and financially, mentally, spiritually, and so I like to believe that the church is something that reaches all of those areas. I would hate to think what it would be like if we were not here," said Dr. Scott.

Now that the church is debt-free, they said they're already planning for a phase two expansion, so they can continue growing and serving the Northside community.

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