Taking matters into your own hands

The Rev. Jonathan Weaver thought paying off his church’s 30-year mortgage in seven years was fairly impressive. But to the banks in Prince George’s County, Md., home to a large and influential African American community just outside Washington, D.C., it was not impressive enough. Despite his church’s excellent credit record, Weaver said when he returned to the same institution to get a second loan for a newer, bigger building, he did not get the welcome he was hoping for. Instead, he received a litany of excuses and hoops to jump through in order to get a loan he felt his congregation had earned. It was only after he wrote a letter to the bank promising to steer his 750 congregants toward other banks that his church got the loan.