East Texas churches staying afloat despite the Recession

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you think the recession has impacted your business, local pastors said you're preaching to the choir.

"Historically, people have come into the church during difficult and stressful times. That's been historically the truth of the church and it seems to be true in this church because our attendance seems to be climbing," said Lufkin First United Methodist Church Rev. Nick Sholars.

However, his church hasn't completely escaped the Recession.

"This church did a reduction in the budget earlier this year and it looks like to me that the regular tithes are down just a little bit," said Sholars.

One pastor said he's also seen a decrease in the offering plates.

"Our giving was down last month, but I'm not sure how much of it was economy or how much of it was people traveling," Calvary Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Randy Brown said.

While the summer vacation season may be a contributing factor, the tough economy isn't far from his mind.

"In our church family, we've had a few people , I think that have maybe been laid off or job hours have been turned around some," Brown explained.

He said his church attendance has actually gone down some since the economy has gone down.

"Our numbers have actually dropped off some as far as Sunday school attendance, since the economy began to tank," said Brown.

However, he's not sure if the economy is solely responsible.

Brown said the idea is to, "Try and reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and I think as we do that, that we'll see our numbers begin to turn around, both in our giving and the other I think will take care of itself."

Because in midst of a failing economy, Brown insists on counting the blessings he does have.

"We do have freedom's here that in many countries, the people would die for or are dying for their faith. So, I think it's very important for us to remember just how blessed we really are in this country, that even in our down-turn economic times, we're still richer than any other country in the world," Brown said.

Sholars said he has faith that the economy will turn around soon and more people will start attending because he said church offers something that people need.

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