The Paycheck Protection Program money is available to churches that meet the small business employment quota. Some churches have taken the forgivable loan, and some have not, but none of them has taken the decision lightly.
Epic Life Church in Seattle is heavily involved in street ministry in The Emerald City. It serves hot meals to the homeless and does various other community services, so by definition, the giving base of the church is limited. The church is applying for the money to keep its staff on board, and lead Pastor Keith Carpenter says the ministries are hitting a high point as the nation's economy flounders.
"It doesn't make any sense for us as a church to have to lay people off because our business, our ministry has actually grown and has actually increased, and we're busier than ever," he tells OneNewsNow.
He and his elders prayed about it and agree that this is a provision from God's hand.
We have employees at the church that pay into government taxes for a reason," Pastor Carpenter notes. "This is part of receiving back what we've given into the government."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in Tupelo, Mississippi, Pastor Scooter Nolan of Hope Church met with his elders and felt God was leading them in a different direction.
"We were eligible for $154,000 that would be forgivable in a three-month time period; it would be just like free money," Nolan explains. "In our discussion and prayer, we wanted to be clear that we would trust God and not the government."
So Hope declined to apply for the forgivable loan, and the pastor says God is blessing that decision.
"That was a Thursday night that we made that decision not to apply, not to request, and the next Sunday, our offering was up over 150 percent," Nolan shares. "It was just like God to answer our prayer related to trusting Him."