Thursday, March 22, 2012

CCC : Calvary Church Begins Loan Drawdown

Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam (PG) must be going through dreaded times.
The road to fulfilling his vision of building a mammoth monument (Calvary Convention Centre or CCC) to glorify God has certainly not been easy. 
Although one may argue that it is never easy when one does the will of God, the same also holds true when man’s vision gets clouded with God’s vision and man believes his vision is God’s vision. 
However one looks at it, the road that PG has taken surely looks like one that will lead Calvary Church into many years of financial bondage, beginning with this latest drawdown of the Bank Loan.
Does God need to borrow money from man’s banks to fulfill His vision? 
Our Bible declares that God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and He owns the “cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). Our God is a mighty rich God and He has no problems fulfilling His vision. 
Alas, for PG, he has to resort to Bank borrowings to fulfill his vision. The money is just not coming in as he had hoped for, as members become numbed to his incessant barrage of “give, give, give” from the pulpit and the constant insinuation that God will not bless if they do not give. This “spiritual threat”, is of course, unbiblical. God blesses because he is a good God, not on the basis of our giving as we cannot “earn” His blessings.
Hence, PG has no choice but to draw down on the Loans granted by Alliance Bank and Public Bank. 
Last Sunday, the Church announced that they have drawn down RM14 million to pay the Contractors and the Interest Payable on the Loan Amount drawn down comes up to RM70,000 a month.
What does the future hold for Calvary Church from now on?
When the total loans of RM43 million from both Banks are fully drawn down, the Interest will amount to RM215,000 per month or RM2.58 million per year.
This does not even take into account the Principal payment. If the RM43 million loans are to be repaid over, 10 years, it will come up to another RM358,000 per month or RM4.3 million per year.
The combined interest and principal payment will eventually be a whopping RM573,000 per month or RM6.88 million per year for 10 years! 
This is just mind-blowing and poses a huge question mark over the Church’s ability to repay the Banks and the future fate of Calvary Church, considering that the income surplus for 2010 was only RM6.1 million. The cost of maintaining the CCC is not even taken into account.
Will the construction of CCC be completed with the full drawdown of the Loan sum of RM43 million?
The answer is NO. Even with full loan drawdown, the Church is still short of RM75 million to complete Phase 1 of CCC. The Exsim land deal is supposed to generate a cash inflow of RM55 million to the Church but this is spread out over at least 4 years. 
Therefore, in the interim, PG will have to raise between another RM55 to RM65 million, assuming Exsim will pay between RM10-20 million upfront on the deal.
PG certainly needs a giant panadol!
Footnote: CT has amended the loan repayment figures in the above article, following verification that the loan period is only 10 years. The original article had assumed a loan period of 15 years.