Skip to Content
Colorado Springs

18 Colorado Springs churches receive federal taxpayer-funded loans

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A KRDO analysis of federal data released by the US Treasury found that 18 Colorado Springs area churches received millions in federal forgivable loans over the last few months.

Those churches all applied for loans through the Small Business Association's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program to help offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Generally, faith-based institutions are not legally allowed to lobby for federal money distributed by the SBA. Churches are also typically exempt from paying taxes.

However, federal officials are allowing churches to use the money because of the devastating impact coronavirus has had on the economy.

"I don’t think anyone at our agency or treasury really had any real compelling interest to denying this assistance to faith-based organizations," SBA District Director Frances Padilla said. "We know they are facing the same economic hardships, so that was actually deliberated and put into an interim final rule.” 

Colorado Springs churches received anywhere from $150,000 to $2 million individually. The 18 churches reported the loan money would save at least 700 jobs.

Not all Colorado Springs churches that applied reported the money would help them with keeping employees on the payroll. The data showed First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs and First United Methodist Church reported the money would not help them with keeping employees on the payroll.

First United Methodist Church did not respond to KRDO's request for comment.

First Presbyterian leadership said the information is incorrect as they were able to keep 70 employees on the payroll because of the loan.

A statement from First Presbyterian said: "First Pres did apply for and was a recipient of the Payroll Protection Plan loan.  This loan enabled us to maintain our payroll for over 70 ministry staff during this pandemic.  In addition, we have continued our financial support of 18 local ministry partners including Springs Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, Crossfire Ministries, COSILoveYou, Family Life Services, and Family Promise, as well as over 16 individual local and globally-based missionaries."

When asked about the data issues SBA said some organizations or lenders did not report it. However, officials said there is a strict oversight process and that all loans over $2 million will automatically be audited.

"For those organizations to apply for forgiveness and maximize forgiveness, they are going to have to go back and review the number of employees they had at the beginning of the period compared to the end of the covered period for the loan and, of course, the payroll levels. So the data will exist. Some lenders entered it; some organizations didn't enter it. So, on the front end, it's not entirely consistent," Padilla said.

Here's a list of the churches that received PPP money.

NEW LIFE CHURCH
Loan amount: $1 - 2 Million
163 Jobs Retained

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF COLORADO SPRINGS
Loan amount: $350,000 - 1 Million
70 Jobs Retained

VILLAGE SEVEN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Loan amount: $350,000 - 1 Million
88 Jobs Retained

CHURCH FOR ALL NATIONS
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
28 Jobs Retained

CHURCH OF THE DIVINE REDEEMER
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000
28 Jobs Retained

COLORADO SPRINGS CHRISTIAN CHURCH INC 
Loan amount: $50,600
8 Jobs Retained

CORPUS CHRISTI CATHOLIC CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000
34 Jobs Retained

DISCOVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF COLORADO SPRINGS 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
32 Jobs Retained

FIRST EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
33 Jobs Retained

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
0 Jobs Retained

MOUNTAIN SPRINGS CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
50 Jobs Retained

PIKES PEAK CHRISTIAN CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
24 Jobs Retained

PULPIT ROCK CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
18 Jobs Retained

RADIANT CHURCH ASSEMBLY OF GOD 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
38 Jobs Retained

SPRINGS OF LIFE CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
24 Jobs Retained

ST PAUL CATHOLIC CHURCH 
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
67 Jobs Retained

ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH (MONUMENT)
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
39 Jobs Retained

FELLOWSHIP OF THE ROCKIES - COLORADO SPRINGS
Loan amount: $150,000 - 350,000 
22 Jobs Retained

Investigations / Local News / News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

24 Comments

    1. You know what’s a bigger scam?? The IRS. Churches should not have received 1 penny! Hold on.. this year’s election is an even bigger scam than the IRS. Biden the pedophile or Trump. Looks like I will write my own name in again.

      1. I write my own name in every year. You can my vice president this election and I will be yours the next one.

      1. It would be even more correct if you said “CAN’T”
        .
        Although it seems ironic that “CANT” is defined as “hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature.”

      2. Although technically, virgins (by the normal definition) *CAN* have babies through non-traditional insemination methods. But those weren’t known about in biblical times.

  1. Like that New Life Cult needs it. So these places don’t pay taxes and then reap the benefits from others who pay taxes?!?!? So sick and tired of this religious BS. Look up the Egyptian God, Horus. Born of virgin birth. Birthday was celebrated on December 25th. Also Horus was around 2,000 years before JC. Religions are derivative and they’re just trying to tell the best story to get people’s money. In the meantime, millions have been killed, children have been abused, all in the name of religion. So glad I am a Pastafarian.

  2. All these pundits with a history of posting right wing biased comments, complaining about churches getting a government loan! Typically hypocritical…

  3. As long as they are loans they will be paid back. Grants would be an issue. I don’t see a problem lending to anyone so long as they pay it back with interest if it’s on the loan.

    1. These “loans” are all forgivable, so I seriously doubt any of them will ever be paid back.

  4. People are always so quick to bash religious entities. So what is the difference when Planned Parenthood gets a ton of government money and they are also a “Non profit” (501c3) organization? They received millions of stimulus money and PP loans. Same with organizations like the food banks and other homeless outreach people.
    So what is with all the people mad about tax money going to a church when their money is already going to similar community organizations every year without the stimulus part.

    1. The difference boils down to the supposed separation of church and state, which seems to have all but disappeared in today’s United States.

      1. Every tax payer can find something that our taxes go to that they don’t agree with. There are a lot of things that should be separated from the govt checkbook.

        Just look at the wasteful pork projects that were inserted into the stimulus bill that have nothing to do with economic recovery.

        This is why I am not for big govt. The bigger the govt the bigger the waste and politicians are not doing what is best for the people but what is best for their own interests.

      2. Have you ever researched what the idea of separation of church and state means? This is actually not a phrase mentioned in the constitution, but a term coined to reference the 1st amendment of our Bill of Rights. The idea is not to keep the church from having influence in the government or to keep church and government totally separate, but to protect the church from government leaders controlling the church. Religious leaders in the Colonies wanted to keep from having a situation like they had in England where the King served not only as the political leader of the country but also the religious leader of the church of England. The King controlled how the church could worship. Constitutionally the government is supposed to help protect religious freedom and the 1st amendment is suppose to give people the freedom to practice the religion of their choosing both privately and publicly without government intervention.

        1. Then why aren’t people who don’t utilize the facilities of those churches able to opt that their taxes don’t go to support those churches, who don’t pay taxes themselves but receive all the benefits of taxpayers? The way it has evolved over the years makes it a very exclusive plan that only benefits those who subscribe to the parties in question. That’s not consistent with being able to practice different religions from those recognized by the government.

  5. “FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
    Loan amount: $150,000 – 350,000
    0 Jobs Retained”
    .
    So how did this church qualify for a (forgivable) “loan” that was supposed help retain jobs?
    .
    And it was never reported here how the US Catholic Church received as much as $3.5 billion in government coronavirus aid in 3,500 loans, an analysis by The Associated Press (AP) found. Catholic bodies that received loans under $150,000 were not included in the list, which could further increase the total.

  6. What is the point of this article? To strike up more division? To continue to stir up a negative attitude toward the Church? Almost all these churches serve our city in SO many different ways and help make Colorado Springs a better place to live. Will you also post an article with every business in Colorado Springs that has received government loans? You say we are in this together, so reflect that in the articles you write.

  7. ….and so the program ran out of money for the little businesses that needed it to keep about water…and now I am hearing of realtors who received these and PPP monies but still had closings and income coming in….but the poor little indy hairdressers were not able to collect anything because they didn’t have a payroll to cover other than themselves….just wrong

  8. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I was operating with the understanding that all Churches were and are tax exempt, thus meaning they do not have to pay taxes.
    Why should anyone or anything that doesn’t put in for something be able to draw out something?
    Where is the separation of Church and State if the State is paying the Church?

Comments are closed.