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Ephesus Members Satisfy Columbus Adventist Academy Mortgage

Story by Karen Williams
Published 6/25/2012

James Lee, Ephesus church treasurer, proudly burns the $1.2 million mortgage for Columbus Adventist Academy.

Not only did Columbus Adventist Academy in Columbus, Ohio, recently satisfy their $1.2 million mortgage, but they also did it in record time—three years! It was members and friends of the school’s constituent Ephesus church who rallied together to complete the seemingly impossible task.

In 2002, under the leadership of Pastor William T. Cox, who now serves as conference president, the Ephesus church built the school as an edifice to foster Christian education. Members report that the journey was difficult at times, but God always made a way.

In October 2008, Donald L. Burden left the Allegheny West Conference office as the ministerial and youth director to lead Ephesus, first as interim pastor and then as senior pastor. He immediately rallied the church body to perform some much-needed repairs on the building.

The leadership team also had a burning desire to liquidate the remaining $670,000 on the mortgage that put a constant strain on the church’s finances. In May 2009—after a very successful evangelistic campaign ending in 100 baptisms—the leadership team launched an aggressive campaign. Members began to attack the mortgage with all denominations of currency. A distraught treasurer even once counted 21,000 pennies!

In 2010 “miracles took place on all fronts,” reports one member. The church baptized more than 160 new believers and also purchased, debt free, 13 acres of land. In 2011 Columbus Adventist Academy’s enrollment increased from 75 students to 106, and the church celebrated 100 years of ministry.

“Today, because of the many members that believed it could be done, and a leadership team that said it would be done, we stand as a testimony that God is indeed able,” said Pastor Burden. “With God all things are possible!”

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