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Elevation Church: Credit line helps pay for church growth

To finance its growth, Elevation Church has access to a $50 million line of credit with Bank of America, documents filed with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds show.

Elevation increased the credit line in 2012 from $9.2 million as it prepared to add locations in Cornelius and Ballantyne. But Elevation’s chief financial officer, James “Chunks” Corbett, said the church has been able to keep its total debt at $9.4 million because of contributions from its congregation.

The church took in a total of more than $12 million in contributions in 2012 and 2013 for expansion projects, he said. Elevation also used nearly $5 million of its $25 million budget in 2013 for new projects, he said.

“The line of credit was obtained in 2012 to ensure we could complete every project we took to the congregation,” Corbett told the Observer. “The board of Elevation Church has approved the use of the line as needed to complete these projects.”

Elevation opened a $10.5 million Lake Norman campus in Cornelius this month and expects it will cost about $20 million to complete its Ballantyne project, which is expected to open in 2015.

For the Ballantyne campus, the church last year paid $3.8 million for about 22 acres off Lancaster Highway, near the South Carolina line, according to documents filed with the Register of Deeds.

The amount drawn on the credit line will increase over time, but the church will also continue to use giving campaigns and operating income to help pay for expansion, Corbett said.

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