Church Extension Loan Fund
Providing Practical Help for Land and Buildings

The Church Extension Loan Fund (CELF) helps provide the necessary funds for churches to buy land and construct buildings. Loans are available to any Free Will Baptist church or ministry. If you are interested in applying for a loan, please contact our office. Funding for CELF comes from the investments of our Free Will Baptist people.

What is CELF?

The Church Extension Loan Fund is a fund from which Free Will Baptist churches can borrow money to build buildings or buy properties. The money that makes up the fund is money that Free Will Baptist people and churches have invested in the program.

Here is how it works. To invest, you can invest any amount over $500 in the program. In return, you receive a good rate of interest on your money. The money is then loaned to churches and ministries. The church repays the loan with a competitive rate of interest.

Interest on your investment is paid monthly or compounded, whichever you choose. There will be no penalty for early withdrawal of deposits. (A thirty day notice will be requested.)

The CELF Investment Program affords you an opportunity to help a church get a much needed loan and at the same time earn interest on your investment.

God has been good to Free Will Baptist North American Ministries. Through His leadership and blessings, new churches are being established all across North America.

If you have any questions about the CELF Program, please call Sue Hayes at 1.877.767.7674 (Direct Line 615.760.6137), or write to Church Extension Loan Fund, PO Box 5002, Antioch, TN 37011-5002.

How secure is the Investment Program?

CELF is confident that our bank is stable with a consistent five star rating.

    Reasons to Invest with CELF:
  • We have a 30 year track record – longevity.
  • When investing with CELF you are investing in ministry.
  • You will be secure that your money is being invested in a conservative based program.
  • CELF has a good and successful track record and consecrated investment in Free Will Baptist churches.

85% to 90% of total assets are loaned out to different churches across America. The Church Extension Loan Fund has first mortgage on all properties for more than the amount of the loan.

10% to 15% of total assets are kept on hand in checking accounts, Money Market accounts and CD’s.

No funds are ever invested in stocks or bonds.


What is the purpose of the Investment Program?

The Investment Program exists to provide a financial base for the Church Extension Loan Fund. The loan fund, in turn, issues loans to churches and organizations through an approved application process. As each loan is repaid, those funds again can be loaned to other churches to provide a perpetual source of funds.

What is the plan of the Church Extension Loan Fund?

Investment Notes are offered at varied rates of interest. These notes of any amount are available to persons interested in advancing North American Ministries while at the same time earning a competitive rate of interest on their investment.

What is the relationship of the Church Extension Loan Fund Investment Program and North American Ministries?

The Church Extension Loan Fund Program is within the framework of the North American Ministries. The same Board serves both corporations. However, the CELF Program is a separate legal entity and is responsible for its transactions, assets, and liablities.

Who owns and manages the Investment Program?

Like other denominational ministries, the CELF Investment Program is operated by the Board of Trustees and officers of the corporation.

Does the Church Extension Loan Fund Investment Program earn a profit?

The Church Extension Loan Fund is a not for profit religious corporation. Therefore, the profit earned from the program will be used to assist in other ministry projects.

How is interest paid?

Interest is paid monthly or semi-annually. The method of payment is optional to the investor. Interest may be paid by check monthly or it may be added to the principle and compounded each six months for the duration of the note. All funds, whether a withdrawal is made or interest paid, can be sent directly to your checking account through EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).

Who oversees the funds?

The Board, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of the corporation oversees the Church Extension Loan Fund. The Accounting Administrator receipts and expends the funds. Persons involved in this procedure are adequately bonded. An annual audit is conduted by a CPA firm. A monthly report is submitted to North American Ministries Board.

When can an investment be withdrawn?

The investment can be withdrawn upon request. A thirty (30) day notice will be required. In cases of larger amounts of $500,000.00 and up, more than a thirty (30) day notice will be needed. Typically, funds are expended within a few days of notice. There will be no penalty for early withdrawal of deposits. You will also need to fill out this withdrawal form.

What about variable interest rates?

If it becomes necessary to adjust the rate of interest on your note, you will be notified thirty (30) days in advance.

Are Investments Taxable?

Yes, even though the Church Extension Loan Fund is a not for profit organization, the interest paid the investor is declared income and is taxable. The investor will receive a 1099 INT at year end.

How can I start an investment with CELF?

An investment can be started anytime with a $500 minimum deposit and filling out this investment form.

Print out form, complete, and send with check to:
Church Extension Loan Fund
P.O. Box 5002
Antioch, TN, 37011-5002

If you have any questions or need more information about starting your investment, contact Sue Hayes at 615-760-6137.

Where are the forms?

You can download the forms here:

CELF Investment Form

CELF Withdrawal Form

CELF Online Withdrawal Form