DEBT-FREE TO SERVE. A three-year campaign. How do I create a link text here?
In the fall of 2018, Creekside celebrated its 50th anniversary as an Evangelical Free Church in Gainesville, Florida. Blown away by a season of reflecting on all that God has done through Creekside, we began to excitedly ask ourselves what God might do through us next. We cannot predict the future, but we can take steps to position ourselves for even greater investment in the kingdom as we build upon our legacy.

After much prayer and collaboration, the elders are excited to announce Debt-Free to Serve, a three-year capital initiative with the goal of positioning Creekside for even greater kingdom fruitfulness.

Guiding Principles

Eliminate Debt

Paying off our mortgage early will save thousands in interest.


Capital Needs

Prevent us from falling right back into debt by addressing major capital needs.


Cosmetic Updates

Making general cosmetic updates around the campus.


Total Campaign Goal = $1.3 Million

Join us!

Please prayerfully consider how you might join us in our goal to position ourselves for even greater kingdom fruitfulness.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the timeframe for Debt-Free to Serve?
Debt-Free to Serve is a three-year capital campaign. Our goal is to raise $1.3 million between December 1, 2018 and November 31, 2021.
Shouldn't we be giving money away to missions?
Everything we do at Creekside is part of the mission, right down to paying our utility bills and cleaning our bathrooms. Eliminating our debt, avoiding future debt, and addressing deferred maintenance will allow us to press forward into the mission God has given us here in Gainesville, as well as give away many more times the campaign amount in the coming years.
How can I get involved?
First, we encourage you to continue your general fund giving to Creekside. All of our normal operations and partnerships will continue for the duration of the campaign.
  1. If you are not already, one step would be to become a percentage giver. Consider carving a percentage of your monthly income as the first money out, splitting your gift between the general fund and the Debt-Free to Serve campaign.
  2. For those who are already a percentage giver, we encourage you to consider giving your planned amount, over and above your normal giving, to the campaign over the course of three years (e.g., if you give $1,000/year, consider giving an additional $333/year to the capital campaign).
  3. Other options include giving stock gifts, out of an IRA, or giving Creekside a place in your estate. For more information on these options, email us at

Where do I send my gift?
You can give to Debt-Free to Serve in two ways:
  1. Head to our giving page, and select "Debt-Free to Serve" in the drop-down menu as you set up your gift.
  2. Make out a check to "Creekside Community Church" with "Debt-Free to Serve" in the memo line. Place it in the offering box on Sunday, or mail it to: Creekside Community Church, 2640 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605.

Eliminating Current Debt

What kind of debt are we carrying?
Creekside’s mortgage, used to build our current worship center and address major facilities needs in the past, is currently running a balance of just under $250,000. If paid on schedule, we would retire the mortgage on September 29, 2030. In 2017, Creekside paid over $20,000 in interest alone, money that could be saved multiple times over by retiring our debt!
What will it take the eliminate the debt early?
We plan to retire our mortgage almost ten years ahead of schedule by raising $300,000. Alongside our regular payments, this amount will allow us to retire the debt by June 2021.
What do we plan to do with the funds freed up by eliminating the debt?
Once we’ve eliminated our debt, we will free up $60,000-$80,000 from debt service in our annual budget. The majority of these dollars will fund the pastoral residency. Remaining funds will be designated for our Haiti ministry and other outreach partnerships.
Why focus the funds on the pastoral residency?
For almost all of Creekside’s 50-year history, we have seen the training and sending of the next generation of pastoral leaders as a major part of our contribution to the kingdom. The pastoral residency builds on that legacy. Made to Flourish, a non-profit in Kansas City, generously granted us four years of expenses to run the residency provided we use that time to build it into our budget, which we will accomplish by eliminating our debt.

Addressing Major Capital Needs

What is "future debt," and how are we addressing it?
We have no desire to run a capital campaign and pay off our mortgage, only to fall right back into debt when the bill for major capital needs comes due. To that end, we will use funds from Debt-Free to Serve to address three major capital needs that would certainly drive us right back into debt without this campaign.
  1. Replacing Decks – Clearly, projects in this area have already been started. During the summer and fall of 2018, we replaced the north and south decks due to extensive rot in both. Next, we will stabilize the bank around the creek so that the ground under our deck remains solid.
  2. Replacing Roofs – Some of our roofs are coming to the end of their lifespan. Others have sustained damage or sprung leaks. Many of our gutters are insufficient for handling the Florida rains, resulting in washouts and flooding that are expensive to repair.
  3. Replacing HVAC Units – Most of our HVAC units are thirty years old or more, and they are beginning to show signs of their age. They have an expensive impact on our energy bills and are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain. These units will certainly have to be replaced in the next few years, and we want to get out ahead of that major expense by raising the funds in advance.
How can we avoid going back into debt longterm?
While we cannot guarantee Creekside will never again find itself in debt, we will take steps that will go a long way toward safeguarding ourselves from it. We plan to put $50,000 away into a capital maintenance fund that we will pay into each year. This will allow us to absorb the blow of hurricane damage, a roof replacement, or other such expenses.

Making General Cosmetic Updates

What is "deferred maintenance?"
Certain aspects of our buildings, such as carpet, paint, and bathrooms, have received a lot of wear and tear for years, and the time has come to begin replacing them. Some of these issues have been pushed down the road due to lack of funding.
What is "deferred maintenance?"
Most of our planned updates involve simply painting, replacing worn and stained carpet, and refreshing bathrooms. We will add new cabinets to the Creekside Children classrooms, and make several needed A/V upgrades around the campus. A few other projects include some planned work on the front of our campus, repaving the parking lot, and creating a new entryway into the Creekside Children wing.
  1. Creekside Kids Wing - Our primary kids environment, both inside an out, is in need of much work. We are going to paint, redo flooring, add cabinets, and replace the old toys.
  2. Replacing Worship Center Doors - One of the larger deferred maintenance items is the worship center doors. The deacon board has asked for these doors to be replaced for a number of years. Most of them don’t seal when they close, creating a major inefficiency in heating or cooling the worship center, and allowing the elements, including moisture and bugs, to find their way in.
  3. A/V Upgrades - Our A/V deacons and their fellow volunteers have done a fantastic job keeping our systems running. However, several computer crashes, sound issues, and the like during worship services in the last year have signaled that much of our A/V equipment is past the end of its life. Making upgrades will help people stay engaged in the worship service without these unnecessary distractions.