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Abundant Life nursery
Children and a teacher play in the nursery at Abundant Life Church in Sarasota, Florida. Abundant Life is in the middle of a construction project to build a new children's building.

Blessed with many children, church welcomes added space

A full children’s building led Abundant Life in Sarasota, Florida to build, with help from an Everence church loan

An overflowing children and youth building led to a new construction project at Abundant Life in Sarasota, Florida, that will give the church’s children and youth more space to learn and play in.

The new building – projected to be ready in spring 2017 – will have a central lobby, classrooms and an auditorium and recreation room for games and worship. Of course, the children’s favorite feature will likely be the slide for a quicker, more fun descent from the second floor to the first.

Senior Pastor Vernon Zook noticed the congregation had outgrown the modular building where children, youths and young adults meet. Although this is a great problem for a church to have, the congregation didn’t want new families to think that they weren’t welcome or that there wasn’t any space for them.

After inquiring about a loan from a national bank and getting discouraged by the difficult process, Zook was introduced to Bill Warrell, Everence® Business Development Officer, who handles church loans at Everence.

“Everence understands the structure and mission of the church – and even how the finances of a church work,” said Zook.

In addition to the bigger space – and fun slide – the new building has a single main entrance, making it more secure and welcoming for families. Helping lower the cost of the build, local construction companies have donated labor and materials.

“It was great to work with Bill and Everence; I felt like we had a partner in what we were doing,” said Zook. “Everence helped figure out the best ways to help our church.”

Abundant Life, a member of Conservative Mennonite Conference, started in June 1999 and met in a variety of facilities, including the gym of Sarasota Christian School. In 2006, it bought its current facility, a former church building. About 600 people regularly attend Abundant Life services, and the congregation has seen new growth in its children and youth programs.

Everence Church Loans can help congregations grow their ministries and expand their church facilities. Everence has been making a difference since 1945 – growing out of a long tradition of church communities putting faith into action by sharing resources with each other. Visit or call us at (877) 295-2664.

About Everence

Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate faith with finances through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit or call (800) 348-7468.

Abundant Life building
The exterior of the new children's building at Abundant Life Church in Sarasota, Florida.