Case Study: Coastal Community Church of Virginia Beach

coastal community church logo
Industry Church, nonprofit
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia

Coastal Community Church of Virginia Beach is a modern church with a big staff. Executive Pastor JD Calkin felt it was important to help take care of the church's employees.

He knew that in order to do that, they’d have to provide benefits in addition to their salaries. While meeting with the church’s financial advisory board, Pastor JD was introduced to PeopleKeep.

After an informative phone call with a Personalized Benefits Advisor, he realized PeopleKeep was the right fit. Now they’re able to provide a valuable health benefit while also keeping costs down.

Dawn Borgia
“PeopleKeep is modern, accurate, compliant, and user-focused.”

Dawn Borgia

Assistant to the Executive Pastor


full-time employees


minutes per month


projected annual tax savings

“It’s super easy. As soon as I’m done with an office visit I just scan in the receipt. The approval process is really simple and quick. Then I get my reimbursement."

The church

Coastal Community Church of Virginia Beach began in the fall of 1999 as a small group of people meeting at the home of their lead pastor, Hank Brooks. Over time, the congregation grew, requiring them to seek larger venues.

After years of meeting at various sites, including an elementary school cafeteria, they finally found a place to settle within the Virginia Beach community. The church purchased a plot of land to build on and was able to bring everyone together on one main campus. 

They now have a spacious worship center for adults and a brand new children's wing to support the children's ministry. With a congregation of around 1,100, the church is a contemporary group with a heart for service. This is evidenced by a substantial food pantry that’s used to help the local community and their onsite coffee shop, whose profits are used to support various international missions.

The challenge

Pastor JD and Dawn Borgia, Assistant to the Executive Pastor, were faced with the same challenge as millions of other small employers: the church had no health plan in place. They wanted to provide a health benefit to their employees, but they needed one that was affordable and that met the needs of all of their employees. They also needed a solution that was easy to work with and that followed regulations.

“We were looking for something that was always up-to-date and accurate so we didn’t have to wonder if we were compliant or not.”

The solution

When meeting with the church’s financial advisory team, Pastor JD was introduced to PeopleKeep through a team member. He made an exploratory phone call and spoke with a Personalized Benefits Advisor.

He learned that offering a QSEHRA through PeopleKeep would allow the church to control their costs by offering an allowance of tax-free money that fit within their budget.

Employees could then use that money to be reimbursed for health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Things like prescriptions, doctor visits, dental care, and vision services were all covered. For those reasons, they made the choice to sign up.

The results

Coastal Community Church of Virginia Beach has had a great experience offering a benefit through PeopleKeep. Dawn says the set-up process was really quick and simple. 

In addition to helping the church control costs, the benefit is flexible enough to work for all the employees. Most employees are on a spouse’s group health plan and use their PeopleKeep benefit to pay for out of pocket medical expenses. Others mainly use it to pay for their individual insurance premiums. Dawn uses the benefit, too.

“It’s super easy. As soon as I’m done with an office visit I just scan in the receipt. The approval process is really simple and quick. Then I get my reimbursement.”

The employees love the benefit as well. Dawn often hears about their positive experiences with the software and with the customer support team.

“The chat support team is so helpful. Their responses are almost instantaneous.”

A major component that Pastor JD looked for in a benefit was something that was easy to administer and that was up to date.

“PeopleKeep is modern, accurate, compliant, and user-focused. The platform helps keep our records up to date. We just log on and it’s all there.”

The benefit plays a big role in employee retention. It allows employees to work for the church and provide for their families in a way they couldn’t before. 
Another plus for Dawn is that with PeopleKeep, she doesn’t need to worry about compliance. Employees can submit their expenses confidentiality and PeopleKeep reviews them for her.

“You’re the experts so we don’t have to be.”

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