All of this culminated in the church’s announcement last week that it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in July. Prior to that, church leaders had taken austerity measures — reducing staff and benefits and cutting the missions budget, for example — to help meet the organization’s financial commitments.
Senior Pastor Jim Lyon says the church is in no danger of losing its assets, and those who bought bonds will collect on their investment. The reorganization removes the balloon payment while extending the life of the initial 30-year loan by an additional year. (Lyon will leave the church this summer to take a position as general director-designate with Church of God Ministries. He says his departure is not related to Madison Park’s financial reorganization.)
While church leaders have publicly kept a stiff upper lip, their pride is certainly bruised and they most assuredly would rather do without the publicity of a debt reorganization announcement.
But we have to remember the context of their decision to invest in the new property off of I-69. It was indeed a bold move, but one that made sense in early 2007.
The cliche that rewards do not come without risks certainly rings true when considering the story of Madison Park and the loan for its new facility. Church leaders took the risk of securing a loan to build the facility. The reward: It’s an attractive addition to the city, and a highly functional building for worship and a variety of events — concerts and other community gatherings, such as a job fair the church recently hosted.
Madison Park Church of God remains an active partner in charity pursuits and other activities that benefit the community. There is every reason to hope that the financial reorganization will help the church return to full health and remain a strong thread in the fabric of Madison County.
In summary There is every reason to hope that financial reorganization will help Madison Park Church of God return to full health and remain a strong thread in the fabric of Madison County.