• Faithbridge Church saved with $500,000 donation

    By: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax


    Faithbridge Church said they pulled off the near impossible thanks to the help of a very generous donation by well-known real estate company Sleiman Enterprises.

    Senior pastor Paul White said for years, Faithbridge Church had been dealing with mounting financial debt.

    “As the proceedings have gone, it finally culminated with the property being foreclosed upon,” said White.

    Sleiman executive Toney Sleiman had been eyeing the property as a potential location for another church.

    “When I heard that Toney Sleiman was the one coming to look to buy the property, my heart sank because he's got a reputation of being a tough business man who gets things done,” said White.

    Sleiman admitted he was going to ask them to leave the property, but had a change of heart.

    “They were short almost a half a million dollars, and we sat around with my brothers and company and said, 'Let’s see if we can't work this out,'” said Sleiman.

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    Sleiman Enterprises donated $500,000 that will go to help with the down payment of a new lower interest rate loan.

    “It’s hard when you think about families and nurseries and kids,” said Sleiman.

    The donation has sent ripple effects not only for the East Arlington church, but also for other ministries it’s involved with around the world.

    “Had the church collapsed, there's an orphanage in Haiti, we've got a mission staff in Ecuador, Guatemala and India that are directly dependent on our church,” said White. “They would’ve had to shut down or find another support system.”

    Now that the nearly 800-member church will stay open, Sleiman said he’ll be there for the Sunday service for the official celebration.

    According to Sleiman, that entire church property is under contract now. One side will remain for the church and the other he plans to develop for a shopping center.

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