January 6, 2019
In the old west, populations of desolate towns could explode as a result of discovering gold, silver, or even oil. Oftentimes, those thriving boomtowns would shrink when fortunes were not made, or the supply of sought-after minerals declined. While these stories harken images of the Gold Rush, boomtowns still exist all around us.
For instance, in the next ten to fifteen years, Troy, TX is projected to triple in size, moving from less than 2,000 people to over 6,000, and Troy UMC is gearing up for the boom. Unlike the early settlers who rushed to California in hopes of finding gold, those coming to Troy are rushing for good schools in a small-town America setting and they are unlikely to leave after a few short months.
In order to reach them, Troy UMC decided to move up a massive building project they had planned to start seven years after building Phase 1 in 2013. This fall they opened an 11,000 sq. ft. building called the Ministry Activity Center, dedicated to missions and ministry, children and youth, and the community.
“This building affords us space to meet the needs of the mission field,” Pastor Leslie Byrd said joyfully. “We will co-host graduation for the High School, because there really isn’t many other spaces in town that can accommodate them. We plan to host events like a community concert, health fair, sports ministry, camps, and this is just the beginning of how we will use the space to reach others. For instance, we are thinking about how to provide respite for Alzheimer’s caregivers, an indoor walking and exercise program, and more. The sky is the limit.”
Leslie isn’t dreaming alone, either.
The church had no angst about taking out a loan with TMF to meet the community’s needs. They knew their town was growing and that the church was growing, too. Troy UMC has an average worship attendance with 50% of participants under the age of 50 and in the last ten months they welcomed 40 new members, so they believed in their future and their ability to take on such a massive project.
“This is all about glorifying God and reaching the community,” Leslie shared. “As we dreamed about this building and made plans, the entire church was very supportive. Now that it is complete, people are on fire for the possibilities the space provides and they keep thinking of ways to use the building.”
When Robert Hoppe, TMF VP of Loans and Real Estate, walked Troy UMC through the loan process, Leslie felt incredibly comfortable. Since she had never been the senior pastor of a church doing this type of project previously, Robert’s guidance was crucial. TMF understood Troy UMC and was an amazing fit because the church and TMF shared the same core values as Methodist institutions. Moreover, Robert was able to provide a one-on-one relationship that is often lacking in other lending scenarios.
“Overall, I can see God’s hand at work through TMF,” Leslie said with elation. “Right now, I have more and more lay people who have ministry dreams they want to see lived out in this new space and TMF made that possible.”
For all the ministry dreams you have in boomtowns, small towns, and urban sprawls, TMF would love to partner with you just as we have served Troy UMC.