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Elevate Life Church

First Permanent Facility

The 13th Fastest Growing Church in America in 2016 according to Outreach Magazine.

Growth can be a problem, sometimes

Elevate Life Church, an ARC Church located in Oak Leaf (Jacksonville), FL, is the 13th Fastest Growing Church in America in 2016 according to Outreach Magazine. The church had grown from a few hundred people to over 2,000 people within a 3-year period, and was in desperate need to move out of the high school they were leasing into their own permanent space. ELC contacted us at the beginning of 2015 after trying to engage the local banks in the area to work with them, but had not found a partner willing to help them make the necessary steps towards their goal for project.

We quickly created a pro forma based on the the adult and family capacity needed to justify the cost of the relocation and project expense. We knew that a potential project would cost $7MM to $8MM. At that time, ELC did not have an income or giving base who had been with the church long enough to support the capital requirements and debt load at that level. Shortly thereafter, we created a comprehensive financial strategy as a result of a one-day, on-site Vision Feasibility Analysis, which included working with them for a year to create strategies for top-line revenue growth. This resulted in an 85% increase in revenue for 2015 over 2014. We worked with the architect and general contractor to develop a budget based on the needs of the ministry and the financial strategy created in the VFA. We also worked with ELC to engage with Generis to establish a capital fundraising strategy based on the same financial plans for the project.


During that time, the original price for the building came in at over $8,800M, and we had to work with the architect and contractor to find value-engineering opportunities in the plans to bring the total project value back down to the $7MM range, which we (as a team) effectively did. Thankfully, ELC did not have to sacrifice and seating or square footage during that time.

Ultimately, we assisted ELC in long-term financial strategies, the CPA Review of their financials, the engagement of the fundraising firm, the design and budget process with the project team, and ultimately the funding for the project on a 10-year fixed rate at 4%, with options to re-amortize the debt based on principal pay-downs. Within one year of starting this process, ELC went from not having a banking partner to having 4 different offers to lend. In February of 2016, not only was ELC putting their first shovel in the ground on their new property, but they were also in the throws of opening their 2nd and 3rd multisite locations, which are now in place and thriving. They were also able to make several key hires related to the growth of the church. On top of getting the project funded, the selected banking institution also created a Letter of Intent for future projects, allowing ELC to move into expansions and/or new multisite locations without having to disturb the debt structure they put into place in this project.

Commited to the project

To the full and deserved credit of the leadership of Elevate Life Church, they were crazy enough to listen to our advice throughout the entire process, and worked diligently on doing their part to bring this vision to fruition. Without their commitment to an intensive project, this project would not have happened.  This is an amazing church led by an incredible team.

Services Provided:

  • Vision Feasibility Analysis
  • Long Term Financial/Ministry Strategy
  • Relocation
  • Program Management/Owner’s Rep Services
  • Budget Control
  • Lender Engagement and Negotiation
  • Project Funding

The best decision we made in our building process was hiring Ministry Solutions and bringing them on early in the process

Tim Staer | Lead Pastor
Elevate Life Church | Jacksonville, FL