By: Gerald R. James, Jr. President / CEO
Ruth Bell Graham, the late wife of evangelist Billy Graham, spent many hours travelling with her husband on highways and farm-to-market roads in their efforts to spread the gospel. On more than one occasion, their journeys would lead them into a construction zone. The pot holes, temporary pavement, and unclear road markings in these zones clearly reflected that there was a “work in progress.” These construction zones often reminded Mrs. Graham that as long as she was here on earth, she was also a “work in progress” supervised by the great architect and engineer, Jesus Christ.
Just as Mrs. Graham’s life was a “work in progress,” Baptist Church Loan Corporation (“BCLC”) believes that its ministry is a “work in progress” led by the direction and supervision of Jesus Christ. When reviewing our 2012 Annual Report, you will see numbers that illustrate how BCLC is a focused, well capitalized company, with an excellent cash flow. BCLC’s strong financial position did not come quickly. For the past sixty years, our supervisor has guided previous and existing BCLC Board members and staff in their pursuit to provide the affordable real estate loans needed to help churches spread the gospel.
Other areas of BCLC that are a “work in progress” include the attraction of more church loan requests and the maintenance of the financial health of our existing church loan customers. During fiscal year 2012, BCLC received over $72 million in church loan requests, a 20% increase over fiscal year 2011. Thanks to prayer and communication, the financial health of BCLC supported churches has also improved. For the first time in several decades, BCLC did not have a past due loan or a property held for sale as of FYE 2012.
Thank you to the many men and women who have volunteered their time to serve on BCLC’s board and to our lending partners who have provided the necessary loan funds to support our ministry. In Proverbs, Solomon writes: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). As we move into the next year, please join us in our prayer that BCLC will continue to submit to the direction and supervision of our Lord.
Thank each of you for your continued support.