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Anonymous Donor Pays Off Pa. Historic Black Church’s $4,000,000 Mortgage

Breanna Edwards /The Root | 4/6/2017, midnight

One Delaware County, Pa., church congregation has just one more thing to be thankful about after an anonymous donor completely cleared up their $4 million mortgage.

According to WTXF, the First African Baptist Church in Sharon Hill has been in the community, offering Sunday services, since 1903. The historic landmark church has grown—in numbers as well as in the size of the physical building—over the past century or so, but recently the church received one of its biggest blessings.

“We got a call from Citizens Bank that said, ‘You’re free of your mortgage,’” Pastor Richard Dent told the news station.

That surprise call came in January, notifying Dent that the church’s $4 million mortgage was a thing of the past, having been paid in full by an anonymous individual.

“This is a blessing,” he said. “It’s unexpected, but we just can’t stop giving. We just gave the Lord the credit. This could not have been done without him.”

Dent said that many people may not know how much money it takes to maintain and run a church, including things like lights, air conditioning and heat, all of which have to be paid. But now one more worry is off the church congregation’s plate.

Dent said that the mortgage was burned in front of everybody, and the church celebrated the occasion as a sign that the landmark can remain well-preserved for several more years.

“In the black community, the church is the only thing we ever had to call our own,” Dent said. “When we couldn’t go to Civic Center or Union League, we always had the church. It is here where our children learn how to speak, how to stand before audiences.

“We are distinct in that we have the privilege of being in the community for a long time, and we’re very, very proud of what we do,” he added

The church plans to use the extra money it will now have for more upgrades and services, such as buying new transport vans to help church members get to and from their doctor’s appointments.

And of course, they’ll be paying this act of kindness forward.