When Crossroads United Methodist Church, Washington, Illinois, concluded their vision for ministry was significantly larger than their current footprint could handle, they began the long and expensive journey of relocating to a new site.
In 2001, they constructed the first of a two-phase construction project that would change the course of their ministry forever.
Relocating and building a new church facility is a challenge, but no one could have predicted the incredible obstacles they would encounter. On Sunday morning, November 17, 2013, an EF-4 tornado touched down within a quarter mile of Crossroads’ new facility. As the devastating tornado ripped through their neighborhood, the worshipping community of almost 600 people sought refuge in the church. When the debris finally settled from the tornado’s 46-mile path, three lives had been lost and over 1,000 homes destroyed.
Following the tornado, the people of Crossroads found a new calling as a vital resource to their community. Crossroads partnered with the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and others to provide supplies and shelter for those in need.
Even as the community was piecing itself back together, Crossroads still had significant work to do to finish paying for their building. With most of their members directly or indirectly impacted by the tornado, raising money to pay off their debt seemed impossible.
In looking for a generosity consulting firm, Crossroads leadership was looking for something different than they had previously experienced. They chose to partner with Horizons Stewardship to journey with them to achieve what seemed to be insurmountable. In 2014, the “Go the Distance for Christ” campaign was a huge success. It enabled Crossroads to reduce their total debt from $6.4 million to $4 million.
Three years later, Crossroads returned to Horizons to guide them again, this time with the “Freedom in Christ” campaign. This most recent campaign broke giving records and reduced their debt to under $2 million.
Directing Pastor Jason Woolever says he appreciated having a guide he could trust and whose directions were clear and specific. “I did exactly what he told me to do and it worked!”
In the months since the campaign, Jason says he often leans on the guidance of his Horizons Ministry Strategist when questions emerge. “It is great to have a resource who can tell you what other churches are doing and understands our denomination and context.”
For more information on partnering with Horizons to move your church to the next level of generosity, see horizons.net. For more information on Crossroads UMC, Washington, IL, visit washingtoncrossroads.com/.