Porter Memorial Baptist Church – Lexington, Kentucky

We love to be part of a church’s transformation, even when they’ve already done a lot of the work. Such was the case when we encountered Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Porter Memorial has served Lexington for the past 110 years. It had relocated 40 years ago, and when pastor Nick Sandefur arrived a couple of years back, he discovered a few challenges. Church attendance had dropped from 1,800+ decades before to less than half that, and both the church’s facilities and its approach to community needed attention. In studying the situation with church leaders, it was decided to stay in place, renovate and reinvest…in many ways.

They were fully up to the task. They successfully faced the needs of an inter-generational church, embraced the international influence of their area, and have already seen worship numbers grow over 30% as a result! To accommodate expected further growth (projections between 2,200 and 2,800!), they developed plans for a 7-phase renovation and expansion of church facilities.

And that’s where BCLC finally entered the picture. Through a mutual acquaintance at the Southern Baptist Convention, the pastor learned of our work and was impressed when the team visited in person. The intent: save Porter Memorial money by refinancing both Phase 1 construction costs and the mortgage on an investment property that the church hopes to sell to fund the other six phases of renovation.

“We loved the low rates, of course,” notes Pastor Sandefur. “But we especially like what we saw in BCLC itself…how it kept overhead low and how its income was reinvested in helping other churches. It feels good that even the money we repay gets used to build the Kingdom.”

The freshened entryways, new HVAC equipment and other aspects of Phase 1 are already welcoming worshipers at Porter Memorial. It’s all part of a projected 140,000 square feet of new and renovated space being prepared for the church’s expanding congregation.