Local churches struggling to garner donations during COVID-19

Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 20:19:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It has been close to a month now since churches and synagogues in the Coastal Bend have had to close their doors in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Now those churches are starting to feel a financial hit, all because donations from their congregations are starting to decrease.

"100% of our income is from tithes and offerings," said Danny Isom, senior pastor at Abundant Life Fellowship Church.

The reason the donations are going down is really quite simple as people are not coming into church to give those donations in person.

That has cause churches to adjust and adapt, finding new ways to take donations from their congregations.

"We have a feature called text to give where people can text a dollar amount to our number," Isom said.

We spoke with pastors at three different churches - Abundant Life Fellowship Church, Third Coast Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

These three churches are in different parts of the city while serving different demographics for congregations.

All three however, are looking to navigate this crisis as best they can.

Third Coast Church has a congregation with an average age range of between 25-35 years old.

Pastor Joe McArthur says his congregation is more comfortable with technology, making it easier for them to genrerate donations.

About 80% of their donations before this pandemic had come through electronic means.

"We are used to apps not envelopes" McArthur said. "We use an app called Tithely."

The Mt. Zion Baptist Church in uptown has a church that leans on the older side.

Mount Zion pastor Harry Williams said that donations are still coming in strong despite the fact that they have a small congregation. And they are submitting their donations, the old-fashioned way.

"We have a middle-aged congregation," Williams said. "They can drop off their envelopes through the door."

The three pastors at the churches are completely aware that people are going through some sort of financial instability at the moment.

They are looking to provide a source of comfort and hope their congregation can help them as well.

"It's wise to budget, it's smart to save, but I think it's genius to be generous," Isom said.

Churches are part of the group that have to remain closed until at least April 30.