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a threefold cord

by David Crowe


Find out more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions at


In Ecclesiastes 4:12, Solomon says, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” The more literal translation is “A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” In verses nine through 12, he argues that “two are better than one.” He goes on to say that even though two is better than one, it is the threefold strand that is best!

These are difficult times in our country. The unemployment rate is rising. Oil prices continue to fluctuate like we have never experienced before in the United States. In many areas, people are losing their homes because the value of their home has dropped as much as 50 percent, and they now owe more on their house than it’s worth. Almost every day we hear of banks closing and government bailouts to keep lending institutions afloat. It seems that many investments are losing money today instead of gaining. In the middle of all these social and economic struggles, I have some good news!


Threefold Cord


The Church Extension Loan Fund (C.E.L.F.) of the National Home Missions Department is having a record year in investments and loans to Free Will Baptist churches. I believe this is because we have formed a “threefold cord.”

The first strand of that cord is you. Many Free Will Baptist people, churches, and organizations have invested hard earned money in C.E.L.F. And your investment earns a great rate of interest. Present interest rates are: 4% for $500 to $24,999; 4.5% for $25,000 to $49,999; 5% for $50,000 to $99,999; and 5.5% for $100,000 and over. You pay no penalties for early withdrawals, and we do not demand the long-term commitment most banks require. All we request is a 30-day notice for withdrawals, but in most cases the money is sent within a couple of days. So you benefit from this program in a financial way, but you also benefit in a spiritual way. How? You benefit spiritually because of the second and third strands of the cord.

The second strand of the cord is Home Missions. Your investments are loaned to Free Will Baptist churches and mission works so they can purchase property and build facilities to win souls and build the Kingdom. This process benefits Home Missions and helps keep our General Fund strong, which in turn helps keep the whole program of Home Missions strong.

C.E.L.F. allows us to send more missionary families to more places across North America and provide more encouragement, training, and support for more than 70 missionary families. It allows the men on our staff to travel to many of our established churches to preach, encourage, evangelize, fellowship, and anything else we can do to strengthen our churches.

Because you invest in this program, every soul saved in home missions churches and every soul saved through the ministry of our staff are a vital return on your investment. Wow! It couldn’t get any better than this—or could it? Consider the third strand in the cord.

The third strand in that cord is the entire cause of the Free Will Baptist denomination. Your investment in C.E.L.F. benefits you; it benefits the whole program of Home Missions, and it benefits the cause of Free Will Baptists around the world. As churches are planted and souls are saved in North America, the base of the denomination is enlarged which provides more financial support for all of our departments. It supports missionaries called to points all across North America and around the world. It provides more students for our colleges and more preachers to fill our great need for more pastors.

What little money my wife, Kathey, and I have saved over the years is invested in the Church Extension Loan Fund. We believe this investment is part of a threefold cord that cannot be easily or quickly broken! Will you join me and the hundreds who have become a part of this threefold cord by investing in C.E.L.F.? In these days of economic uncertainty, I’m glad to be a part of something that will not be easily torn apart.


About the Writer: David Crowe is the director of development for the Home Missions Department. Read more about the ministry of Home Missions at



©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists