Church At Risk Of Foreclosure

Wednesday, November 19th 2008, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

DISNEY, OK -- A tiny Oklahoma town is in danger of losing its church.  The First Baptist Church in Disney says it simply can't afford to pay off a loan for its property.  First Baptist lost its old church when it burned to ground two years ago.  Now, they may lose their new one because of a financial meltdown.

Members of Disney's First Baptist Church have been praying for a miracle recently.  The congregation says it has a little over a month to come up with nearly $400,000.  If not, the building will be handed over to the bank.  It's a prospect parishioners are not looking forward to.

"I don't know if I could handle that.  It would be very hard to handle if we lost our building," said church member Janie Russell.

It's been a trying two years for First Baptist.  A part of the Disney community for 90 years, its original church burned down in 2006.  Fortunately, First Baptist was already in the process of building a new church.  Unfortunately, its pastor says building costs have sky-rocketed and they can no longer afford to pay off their loan.  He says time is running out.

"From that point on, the clock starts ticking.  We have 30 days in order to pay it off, and somebody else has 30 days in order to buy it," said Pastor Kenneth Hood.

Hood has served as First Baptist's pastor for nearly a decade, and says he can't imagine being anywhere else.   

"My life has become so entwined and involved in this, it's unbelievable. And, I'm not the only one, our whole congregation is like that," said Pastor Kenneth Hood.

"We're huggers here.  We just hug everyone and welcome you in. It's a very nice fellowship, and I just love being here," said church member Janie Russell.

Anyone interested in helping out can call the church at 918-435-4015.