The August Board of Directors gathering may have looked like a typical meeting – except for the balloons and Bundtini treats that added a festive feel to the room.
Board members had a special reason to celebrate.
Just four years ago, the board held a cake-cutting for surpassing $200 million. Few could have imagined the next milestone would come so soon.
“It’s a testament to the dedication shown by staff and the board of directors,” said Board Chairman Tom Jordan. “In a time of instability within our denomination, there is a greater need for steady leadership. We are blessed to be in a position to provide it.”
The celebration was brief because the board had a full agenda. Connected by screens and microphones, the board elected officers, approved new endowments and heard updates on the Foundation’s ministries and partnerships. Among the highlights:
• The UMF Development Fund has 46 loans in service to help churches make renovations, acquire property and refinance existing debt.
• The Reynolds Ministry Fund awarded 48 grants totaling almost $500,000 for disciple-making initiatives. The Reynolds Program in Church Leadership will welcome the Class of 2022 for a launch on Aug. 23.
• And the Clergy Debt Reduction Loan Program is now accepting applications from pastors seeking to pay off student loans and become debt free. Since 2016, clergy have refinanced over $4.6 million in collective debt, saving the average participant $350 per month.
“Our task, made more challenging by the pandemic as well as the uncertainty within the denomination, is a call to action,” said Foundation President David Snipes. “Because of the faithfulness of our leadership, as well as the trust that our constituents have placed in us, we have risen to heights that many of our founding partners never imagined. For this we give thanks and praise!”