Friday, February 11, 2011

A Special Appeal From Pastor Mark...

Dear Hillcrest Church Family,

Thank you for taking the time to read this very important email and to prayerfully reflect on what I have to say. I encourage you to also watch the video recording I have inserted above. It is less than twenty minutes long and will give you more detailed information concerning the latest developments in the sale of our church campus and the specific challenge that lies before us.

Spiritually, we are in a wonderful new season here at Hillcrest Church, but WE NEED YOUR HELP in meeting A VERY SIGNIFICANT NEEDSince you love our church, I want you to know exactly where things stand.

God is doing an exciting, new thing among our people…!

A true revival spirit spontaneously broke out among us two weeks ago, resulting in six nights of unplanned but very powerful services. Many people testified to divine healing through the sudden disappearance of physical symptoms; others were baptized in the Holy Spirit; and a wonderful new measure of God’s manifest presence filled our “house” and our hearts. This has given fresh momentum to our various ministries. I have personally sensed a strong new anointing as I have been preaching my series entitled, “What Is An Antioch Church?” My heart is filled with excitement about the wonderful future God has in store for us as a people.

As our Elders, Trustees, and I lead you forward into our destiny, while believing God for deliverance from the very high level of church debt incurred on our facility many years ago, we face TWO DISTINCT FINANCIAL CHALLENGES:

1.     The approximately $10 million dollar “balloon payment” on our church mortgage that will come due in September. In an effort to sell our campus and use our considerable equity to purchase new facilities, we have retained the leading real estate agency in North Texas specializing in marketing church properties. They seem confident they will be able to sell our building if they are given enough time. Between their efforts and our own contacts in the church community, at the moment there are three different potential buyers that appear interested in further discussions.
2.      The large monthly expenses we must meet in order to make the mortgage payments and cover the heavy costs of operating such a large facility. We have trimmed our discretionary expenses every way that we can. While our church income is more than sufficient to fund our ministries, meet our payroll, and provide for us to rent a temporary meeting place such as at Baruch Ha’Shem, it is far less than we would need to stay in our current building long-term given our indebtedness.

Earlier this week, we received some stunningly good news from our lender when they unexpectedly agreed to allow us to make interest-only payments from now until the balloon note comes due in September…! That is a significant short-term step toward finding an answer to the first challenge because it gives us more time to find a buyer for our campus and also cuts our monthly expenses by more than $42,000. (It does not, of course, solve the long-term issue of the balloon payment next September.)

Here is the CRITICAL problem we are facing today…

Every year, our church income drops substantially in January and February before rebounding to more normal levels in the month of March. Even though our January and February giving has never been enough in past years to cover our expenses during those two months, we have always had enough cash left over from the preceding December to meet our obligations in January and February. As a result of the weak national economy and the loss our congregation suffered last fall when we processed the vote to sell our facility when we were approached by the NDCBF, our giving so far this year has been VERY GOOD but NOT ENOUGH for us to make it until March.


WE NEED AN EXTRA $60,000 above our projected giving levels in order to have any hope of meeting our expenses through the next several weeks. A total of $100,000 would raise our bank balances enough to allow us to manage our cash flow in a more normal fashion into the summer, provided our giving strengthens in the same percentage as it has in past years beginning with the month of March.

We need half of that IMMEDIATELY or we will be unable to make our interest-only payment to the bank and pay our church ministry team at the end of February.


Prayerfully consider giving as large an extra offering as you can THIS SUNDAY.

Here is what your offering will do…

  • It will help meet this immediate financial need.
  • It will provide our leadership the time that we need to walk out a thorough, thoughtful, and wise process of finding God’s answer to the mortgage challenge we are facing. 
  • It will give God time to work a miracle to keep us on this campus if that is His will. He is still able to that. We just need to make sure that we do whatever He wants and that we do not “short-circuit” His work in our hearts. 

All of our pastors and I are passionately committed to partnering with you in the vision God has given us to build an “Antioch kind of church” here in Dallas.Your generous offering this Sunday will be a clear vote of confidence from you in our destiny as a church family.

Whether God keeps us on this campus or settles us somewhere else, this I know for sure - Our future is as good as His character and as bright as His promises…!

Teresa and I love you and thank God for the privilege of serving you. We believe the very best is yet to come for Hillcrest Church…!

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday…!

Pastor Mark Brand

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