Foundation announces largest ever gift to Conference

The Foundation celebrated present and future leaders and affirmed its commitment to building the Church for generations to come during an Annual Meeting of the Membership on Saturday morning in Stuart Auditorium.

Board Chairman Tom Jordan presented the Foundation’s largest ever contribution toward Conference initiatives, a gift of $217,000 in support of the Comprehensive Plan of Equity, Peacemaking in Communities and Strengthening “First” Churches across Western North Carolina.

There was a time of celebration to mark the 20-year anniversary of David Snipes as president and CEO.

“To work with David has been an absolute joy,” Conference Treasurer Mark King said in a video highlighting 20 years of Foundation growth and leadership. “I really am proud that he has been here for 20 years, which is a milestone in any religious organization.”

For the first time in its 45-year history, the organization has a female chair-elect. Anne Martin described the Foundation as a steadying influence during seasons of change in the Conference and broader denomination.

“Our goal is to remain that way long into the future,” she said. “With your help, by allowing us to be in partnership with you, that goal will be fulfilled.”

The newly elected board includes Class of 2025 returning members Mark Bailey, Wanda Musgrave, Dave Mildenberg, Steve Wilson as well as newcomer Melvin Scales, a talent management consulting professional who resides in Winston-Salem. Melvin attends St. Paul UMC in Winston-Salem.

Foundation leadership recognized the faithful service of Tom Jordan, who is stepping down as board chairman at the conclusion of his term. Tom joined the board in 2008 and served on the Marketing, Clergy Debt Reduction and Executive Teams before becoming chair in 2017.

A gift in Tom’s honor will support one of his favorite causes, the Matt Brown Learn-to-Swim Endowment, committed to making water safety available to all second-grade students in Guilford County Schools.

Following the presentation of the $217,000 gift, David reflected on the Foundation’s early days when it depended on the Conference for operating funds and even office space. It was always the goal, he said, to someday give back: “With the trust that has been placed in us… the Foundation has achieved this dream.”

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