The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

financial freedom


Pastor, Closer Walk Christian Fellowship, Chesapeake, Virginia

Former officer, United States Navy

B.S., Hampton University; M.Th., D.Min., Andersonville Theological Seminary



Former officer, United States Navy

B. S., Nursing, Hampton University


Pastoral Couple Slays Debt Monster


Chris and Donna McLeod were married in 1992 and knew for years that when it came to their finances they weren’t “doing it right.” “We were using credit cards,” says Chris.

Several years ago, Chris purchased a copy of Dave Ramsey’s book Financial Peace. Chris skimmed the book, but he didn’t really look at the program as a way out of debt. Then Chris says that in mid-2003, it all clicked in his head. “I was a pastor of a church teaching good stewardship, but I was unable to practice what I was teaching,” says Chris. They decided to take heed of Proverbs 22:7, which says, "The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender." They both took radical measures to get their finances in order.

“Boys never grow up; our toys just get more expensive,” admits Chris. He owned two motorcycles: one was paid off that was worth $6,000, and the other had been financed and was worth $8,000. As difficult as it was, Chris decided to sell the one that was paid off. He and Donna took the money and paid off a credit card. Then he took the second bike and sold it and paid off another credit card. He sowed the money left over. “We took care of $14,000 worth of debt, and it felt good, but we still had more to go,” says Chris. “It wasn’t easy. Believe me, I didn’t want to sell the bikes.” With a huge chunk of debt paid off, Chris said he started to feel the weight of debt coming off of his shoulders.


The next phase of getting their finances in order began in September 2003. Donna bought Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, and for the first time, they operated within a written budget. “We scraped our money together to pay off the two credit cards we had left, which totaled around $4,000,” says Chris. They took extra cash, including tax return money, and applied it to debt.

Since then, within 18 months, they have paid off a total of $20,000 in debt and have saved $20,000 in the bank. They are at “baby step No. 4” of Dave Ramsey’s financial program. They refinanced their home last year at 4.75 percent for 10 years. They have nine more years left on their house.

“We pay cash for everything and use Dave’s cash envelope system,” says Chris. “Now I understand what Dave means. I get it now, and I have the privilege of spreading this information to others,” he says.

Recently, Chris conducted one of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes at his church where 24 families participated. “I was so proud of them,” says Chris. In 13 weeks, the families collectively paid off $90,000 in debt and put $50,000 in savings.

Chris and Donna are in the process of adopting a child.

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