It may not be the first place someone thinks to turn to for an education on personal finances, but at Bethesda Church, that is exactly what people are getting — and they’re paying off debt while doing so.
Bethesda Church in Hinesville has partnered with nationally known financial advisor Dave Ramsey since January 2010 to bring his Financial Peace University to Liberty County. The 13-week course is a combination of video teaching and small group discussion, with the teachings led by Dave Ramsey, the best-selling author, radio host and Fox News network star. The course covers everything from debt reduction to budgeting, insurance, retirement, investing, mortgages and career planning.
“Financial Peace University has made a tremendous impact on our community already,” Pastor Timothy Byler said. “Since we started offering the course, over 40 households have taken it. Those households paid off over $144,000 in debt just during the 13-week course they were in. That doesn’t count the additional debt paid off after they finished the course.”
Course coordinator Charlene Parlett said the course is open to everyone.
“It doesn’t matter what your income level is, how old you are, whether you are married or single — you will learn something in this course that can result in thousands of dollars back in your pocket over the course of your life.”
Parlett and her husband took the course for the first time in the fall of 2009.
“We are small business owners, and we thought we knew a lot more about personal finances than we did,” she said. “Now that we follow what we learned in FPU, we are completely debt-free except for our home, we have three months of living expenses in the bank for emergencies, and we are investing for our future. We have that financial peace Dave Ramsey talks about.”
The course will begin again in August and is open to the public. A preview night is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at the church. A lifetime membership kit is required and can be purchased online from daveramsey.com or through the church.
For more information, call Parlett at 368-6121.