West side Rockford church facing foreclosure - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

West side Rockford church facing foreclosure

Pastor Herbert Johnson, Jr. Pastor Herbert Johnson, Jr.

A west side Rockford church faces the threat of foreclosure after running into financial trouble. Liberty Baptist Church was served the papers after defaulting on a loan.

Church members find themselves in a position many within the community have experienced the threat of losing their home, at least their spiritual home.

"We received notice that they want to foreclose on us," says Pastor Herbert Johnson, Jr.

The pastor says the church took out a $75,000 loan back in 2001 to refurbish the sanctuary. But, to do that they had to use the value of the church as collateral.

"We had holes in the windows; we had old pews that were falling apart. So we renovated our sanctuary to make it more efficient and effective," says Johnson.

He says they were making regular payments plus paying down the principal until they ran into money trouble. That's when they defaulted. The church currently owes approximately $65,000 dollars on the loan and that includes penalties.  The pastor says that money is not easy to come by for their church on Rockford's far west side.

"This is a very under served community. When you are called to served that kind of community that kind of constituents, you are serving people who do not have a lot of money to invest into the church," says Johnson.

Liberty Baptist hopes to secure a loan from another bank to pay off its defaulted mortgage and start over making payment on the new loan.

Liberty Baptist Church is located at 3500 Preston St., Rockford, IL, 61102 or is available by phone at (815) 964-9913.

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