Rockford church hosts "Burn the Mortgage" service

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- For the first time in at least 75 years, Our Savior's Lutheran Church is debt free, and the Rockford church celebrated in quite a unique way: by burning the mortgage.

Sunday's "Burn the Mortgage" worship service is the culmination of a two-year fundraising program to speed up the payoff off of the Our Savior's mortgage.

Since its founding in 1908, the church has gone through a number of building and expansion projects.

Most recently, in April of 1999, the opening of the worship center and gym added a more than $4 million mortgage, which has now been retired.

"So today is the culmination of the total payoff this congregation. So everyone's happy about that. So now we can devote our resources to things around the neighborhood and the community and not have to worry about a mortgage," said "Burn the Mortgage" Campaign Chairman Bob Rothkopf.

The "Burn the Mortgage" campaign began in 2016 and it earned over $273,000. That includes $6,000 that was actually collected in bright red piggy banks.