Local News

Triangle churches adjust to struggling economy

Posted February 8, 2009 5:40 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Tough economic times are taking a toll on Triangle churches.

“We're stretching every dollar (and) making it count, but we're not suffering,” said Rev. Ben Williams, with St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Raleigh.

Pastors said that while church offerings are about the same as usual, other assets are being financially pinched.

At St. Mark's, 4801 Six Forks Road, the endowment money for church programs was invested in the stock market and has taken a big hit in recent months.

“It (the money) helps fund ministry (and) youth and children in the church. But we've had generous folks who've said, 'We’re not going to let that suffer,'" Williams said.

A few miles away at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, 718 Hillsborough St., it is a similar story.

“We've had a number of people in our congregation who've lost jobs. Many retirees have seen their retirement benefits dwindle. So I think there's an air of uncertainty as we go into the coming year,” said Pastor David Mallory.

But uncertainty, the pastors said, only makes their faith stronger.

“God will never deny us, even though the times may be difficult, and the valley may be deep, and the day may be dark. But God will never deny us,” Mallory said.

“We're just a people that say, 'God's been good. God's not failed us yet, so here we go,'” Williams said.

Williams said the tough economy has affected so many people that the church has begun a midweek prayer service, ”Tuesdays for Troubled Times."