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Church foreclosure withdrawn

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

CONYERS -- Church In The Now, the large, non-denominational church in Conyers, dodged being sold on the courthouse steps next month after its mortgage holder withdrew its foreclosure notice.

Evangelical Christian Credit Union halted foreclosure proceedings on Church In The Now after a legal notice that appeared in the Jan. 7 edition of the Rockdale Citizen. The notice stated plans to sell the church following default on $18.5 million in principal from a security deed on the property filed June 2007.

The sale would have taken place on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at the Rockdale County Courthouse's Bank Street entrance. However, Hunter Maclean, the Savannah law firm that represents Evangelical Christian Credit Union, said the advertisement was "inadvertent and is being withdrawn."

In a Jan. 10 letter, Frank J. Perch III, an attorney with Hunter Maclean, said sale of the property would not take place and asked that information be published stating such.

Perch declined comment Wednesday on why the credit union decided to pull back the foreclosure process on Church In The Now citing client privilege.

Residential foreclosures have swept across the community during the recession with move over 7,000 foreclosures recorded since 2008.

In much the same way as businesses and utilities have suffered from foreclosures with the loss of customers, so has Church In The Now with fewer members. Now, the church is dealing with the threat of foreclosure firsthand.

Calls to Church In The Now Pastor Jim Swilley on Wednesday were not immediately returned.

The foreclosure notice is the latest news coming from Church In The Now since Swilley announced to his congregation in October that he is gay. During his announcement then, Swilley alluded to financial hardships the church was facing.

"Our church, financially, is in the natural," he said at the Wednesday prayer service in October, apparently referring to the down economy. "It's not in a great place. I don't know if the church can survive this."

Swilley also said then everything is "on the altar, and if we do lose it everybody is ready to start something else."