Christ UMC's Investment Increases Under Foundation's Management

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The Georgia United Methodist Foundation manages and grows over $111 million in assets on behalf of United Methodist churches and entities in Georgia. Over the last several years, members of Christ UMC in Warner Robins have faithfully given to their building fund. Due to the economy and unrealized fundraising pledges, the church was unable to build.

In this interview, Senior Minister Rev. Matthew Stewart and Church Treasurer Glenn Bonnette explain why Christ UMC entrusted their building fund monies to the Foundation as they seek God’s will in moving forward with their hopes and dreams.

GUMF: Why did Christ UMC establish a building fund?

Rev. Matthew Stewart: We are out of space for the ministries our church is engaged in. The lack of space impacts Christ School, which serves 300 students, our children and youth ministries, outside community groups, worship service, and fellowship.

GUMF: Why did Christ UMC choose the Foundation to manage its building fund?

Glenn Bonnette: The Foundation had the best track record and highest interest rates on CD-like certificates. Even though the Foundation isn’t insured by the FDIC, we couldn’t think of a better, safer place to invest because of its history.

GUMF: What are the benefits of partnering with the Foundation?

Rev. Matthew Stewart: We have the confidence of being with a United Methodist institution that shares the same social values and principles that we have. Any profits that the Foundation makes after expenses are given back to Methodist ministries in the form of scholarships and grants. We also feel good that our money that is invested in the Development Fund is helping other United Methodist churches obtain loans.

GUMF: Has Christ UMC’s investment increased under the Foundation’s management?

Glenn Bonnette: We have been involved with the Foundation a little over three years. We purchased $190,000 in the Certificate Program and invested $292,000 in the Equity Fund. We have continued adding money. Since 2011, we have invested a total of $517,610. As of 3/31/14, the current market value is $662,208. If you do the math, you can see that we’ve done quite well.

GUMF: Can you provide an update on Christ UMC’s building plans?

Rev. Matthew Stewart: At some point, maybe within the year, we will probably look at building again. Initially, we looked at a $5 million building plan, but only raised about $500,000. I think everybody recognizes that we have to find the right plan that will affordably address our needs. What’s interesting is the excitement that the congregation continues to have about this project. Even without publicizing it, the congregation is still giving to the building fund because they realize it’s something that we have to do.

This article was originally published in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation's 2013 Annual Report.