Given the rate of foreclosures that homeowners have been experiencing over that last few years, it was inevitable that churches and other religious institutions would also be hit by the increased number of foreclosures to hit the nation.
It has been reported that here have been 270 churches forced to close their doors in the past two years because they defaulted on their loans, according to commercial real estate information company CoStar Group.
However, Scott Rolfs, managing director of Religious and Education finance at the investment bank Ziegler, has claimed it is always a last resort for a bank to foreclose on a religious institution.
"Churches are among the final institutions to get foreclosed upon because banks have not wanted to look like they are being heavy handed with the churches," said Rolfs.
Still, without intervention, the backbone of so many communities will be forced to board up their doors.
However, all is not lost as followers of Christ come together to help their fellow neighbors. Churches have long helped struggling individuals and families, but in this time of great need, churches now are seeking help from those who are able.
There are several services that are available to churches that are in a financially difficult situation. One organization whose goal is "to assist growing churches by providing a conduit of Christian resources and assistance" is churchgrants.org.
They provide counseling and other resources to help struggling churches obtain funds, but they also offer assistance to those parishes that need help accommodating their growing flocks.
There are also churches in New Jersey that have partnered with several non-profits to provide free or low-cost financial services that aim to help keep people in their homes, and keep church doors open.
Still supporters of churches state that more needs to be done to help the more than 300,000 churches nationwide, institutions that serve their communities, from disappearing as more people are turning to churches for help.