When North Metro Baptist Church breaks ground on a new campus later this year near Atlanta, Georgia, the event will represent a major milestone in the life of the 130-year-old Southern Baptist congregation. The project is also a turning point for WatersEdge, the non-profit Christian financial services ministry selected to provide the financing for North Metro’s build — a total of $26 million, the largest loan in WatersEdge’s 75-year history. For both borrower and lender, the project is a sharp reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness and a mission objective fulfilled.
“More than anything, this loan a testament to God’s provision,” says Bobby Hart, president of WatersEdge Ministry Services. “We’re blessed to be in this position, where we can provide loans to churches in a way that furthers the Kingdom. The significance isn’t ultimately about the number — it’s about seeing God moving in this congregation and in others like it across the country.”
Providence can be clearly seen in the path North Metro took toward its new campus. From a party interested in buying the church’s current property — when the congregation wasn’t even thinking about selling or moving — to a global pandemic that stretched the process over several years, the journey certainly wasn’t linear. There were stops and starts, times of discouragement, and seasons of doubt. But through it all, the Lord was there, opening doors every step of the way.
For Frank Cox, who has served as North Metro’s senior pastor for over four decades, that example of God’s steadfastness is what’s worth celebrating.
“Over these 43 years, I’ve seen a church emerge that’s willing to dream a God-sized dream and trust Him each step of the way. And God has always been faithful to us,” Cox says. “That includes what’s happening now; we’re building in probably one of the worst times to build, but even through this God is proving Himself to us. We’re excited to see what happens.”
Before connecting with WatersEdge, North Metro began conversations with numerous banks and struggled to find financing options that fit the church’s needs. “They asked questions that we just didn’t feel were relevant, but we understood it was relevant for the banking business,” Cox said.
Out of the blue, a staff member at the church learned about WatersEdge in 2022 at a conference. After meeting with WatersEdge staff, it wasn’t the financial expertise or the low interest rates that stood out — it was the fact that WatersEdge understood churches.
“We were finally sitting down with somebody who had knowledge of the church world, how churches operate, and the faith part of it,” Cox explains.
The loan was closed in early 2023, with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus slated for April 30. Construction is projected to last 12-18 months, and North Metro will be able to remain in its current facility until the new campus opens in 2024. Excitement among the congregation is already starting to build.
“We are positioning the church to have its greatest growth days ahead, even after I’m not here,” Cox says. “That’s what I see happening. This is going to be where God strategically places us so that our church can continue to thrive, and that’s what excites me.”
Read more about North Metro’s campus transition in this fall’s issue of Generosity magazine.
By Kedrick Nettleton