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Building a Church Means Building a Team

by Charity Kuehn, Assistant Vice President, Church Financing/Commercial Lending
Union Bank and Trust Company

Financing church construction can be a source of frustration and anxiety for the church and for you as the builder. Each and every construction project is unique in its own regard. Church constructions can be especially unique for many reasons. Often the building project is the one and only project this type of client has ever done. To add to the complexity, you are rarely dealing with one or two individual decision makers but rather a Church Board made up of several volunteers who come from various walks of life. Because of this, it is important to help your client build their entire team early in the process to ensure the most positive outcome.

Have you ever had a Church project where the “dream” gets too big very quickly? What if the “dream” is something the Church cannot afford? Scaling back a client to what they can afford can be a painful and sometimes destructive process. Bringing in a financial expert early in the planning stages is a valuable way to keep a Church on the right path for a project that will be financially feasible.

There are various types of organizations that will work with a church to finance a project. Some denominations have internal financing sources for individual churches. Third party finance companies can also be a way for a church to secure financing for construction projects. The local community banker may want to handle the financing of a local church. Finding a lender who not only understands church financials, but is experienced and comfortable dealing with churches, can be very challenging. It is important for your client to choose the right partner for this crucial piece of the project.

As a Church builder, you have the opportunity to truly be a consultant to the Church by helping them build their project team. Knowing a lender who specializes in Church financing and including them early in the project can position you as a trusted resource and advocate for your client. There are very few banks that have lenders specializing in the financing of these types of loans and many are not interested in them at all.

The Union Bank Church Financing department specializes in lending to churches for construction, expansion and remodels. Although many banks have experience in lending to churches, Union Bank has taken a “leap of faith,” so to speak, and has made a commitment to this sector of lending by dedicating resources and expertise to it. Church financing is a priority for us — and that can make a real difference to your client.

If we can be of service to you in your business or if you would like to meet to discuss how Union Bank’s Church Financing department could be a resource for you and your clients please feel free to contact us.

Charity Kuehn may be reached at or 402-323-1548.