Church Finds Unlikely Ministry Partner

HIXSON, TN—When Abba’s House, one of the largest evangelical churches in Tennessee, began to reevaluate their banking relationship, Eddie Adams, executive pastor, was far from enthused about the process. His experience working with financial institutions had been frustrating. When he talked with them about the church’s vision and what God was doing, he usually encountered a “blank stare.” “It’s extremely difficult to explain to a bank that we are not here to make a profit,” Pastor Adams says, “but to invest in people’s lives so that they will be brought into the kingdom.”

It was clear to the church leadership, however, that they needed to make a change. So Pastor Adams asked Denise Craig, Abba House’s chief financial officer, to look at options. After several weeks of research, she came back with a number of possibilities, one of which was Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU), headquartered in Brea, California.

The church leadership met with some of the institutions, and Pastor Adams experienced what he had expected: Most financial institutions don’t truly understand ministry. Then he met Jeremy Moore, a “ministry development officer” with ECCU. Instead of that blank stare, Moore’s response indicated that he clearly understood ministry and the unique needs of Abba’s House. When Pastor Adams laid out the terms of their banking needs, Moore shocked him by saying, “That’s doable.”

“For the first time,” Pastor Adams says, “I felt like I had a partner whom God had sent to come alongside and help us. We were not just another customer. By doing business with ECCU, we have reduced our debt service load, thereby increasing our cash flow reserve, which allows us to focus on the ministry that God has called us to do.”