Faith & Money Fall 2022 Newsletter is Now Available!


The Georgia United Methodist Foundation's Faith & Money Fall 2022 newsletter is available here.

Posted: November 4th, 2022 | Permalink

The Rev. Dr. Rodrigo Cruz Shares How the Foundation Differs From a Commercial Lender


The Rev. Dr. Rodrigo Cruz was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, where he practiced criminal law for several years before accepting God’s call into full-time ministry. After he and his family moved to the United States, he received a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.

In 2016, Dr. Cruz launched The Nett, a multiethnic church in Gwinnett County. In July 2020, he was appointed to serve as the North Georgia Conference Central East District Superintendent while remaining the founding and lead pastor of The Nett, which now has multiple campuses. Two years later, he began his three-year term as a member of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dr. Cruz took time out of his busy schedule to share insights into the district’s partnership with the Foundation.

Q: Several churches in the Central East District have chosen the Foundation as their lending partner. How would you describe the partnership?
Dr. Cruz:
 It is a huge blessing for all the parties involved speaking as the district superintendent and on behalf of the local churches. Any time churches have to handle financial commitments and contracts, it is an absolute pleasure knowing that the Foundation holds the same values and interests of community well-being, the kingdom of God, and the healthiness of the churches.

Q: What are the advantages of partnering with the Foundation versus a commercial lender?
Dr. Cruz:
 One is that we share the same values, and having a partner who will do all they can within their legal and financial wisdom to enable the church to do what we can to make disciples is just a wonderful partnership. We have the same goal in mind. It reminds me of the story in the Bible of Jesus feeding 5,000 with loaves of bread and fish. Everybody brings a little to the table to create a meal for the community. When the local church and the Foundation come together, we can provide our product to the community, which is transformation.

Q: How have the churches benefited financially from this partnership?
Dr. Cruz:
 Certainly, the rates are as competitive, if not better, than the current market. Also, the fact that the money stays within the United Methodist movement provides great peace of mind knowing we are not making a CEO of a bank richer. Through investments in the Foundation’s Certificate Program, we are putting the money back into churches, communities, and other United Methodist organizations for kingdom work. It’s a win-win.

Q: What has your experience been like interacting with the Foundation?
Dr. Cruz:
 It is as convenient as it can be. I never have to speak with a machine. I get people, and I love that because you can certainly accomplish more when having conversations with individuals you know have the same values but are reachable. And it is also very professional. The Foundation responds to phone calls, emails, and text messages with better standards than corporate America.

Q: How does the Foundation help the church fulfill its mission?
Dr. Cruz:
 The Foundation helps churches think outside of the box. In my experience, the brainstorming of ideas and the sharing of the product it’s not what benefits the Foundation the most but what enables the local church to do what local churches are called to do, which is transforming the world. The Foundation puts our mission as the priority, which is different from other financial institutions where profit is a priority.

Posted: November 1st, 2022 | Permalink

Highest Certificate Rates in the Last 10 Years!


The Georgia United Methodist Foundation has announced the highest certificate rates in the last 10 years!

Churches, nonprofits, individuals, and families have an opportunity to elevate and advance the mission and ministry of the Methodist Church across Georgia through investments in the Foundation’s Certificate Program.

Loan demand is growing as churches renovate and expand existing facilities and as Methodist churches work with the Foundation to refinance with favorable terms.

When you purchase 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year fixed-rate certificates, you earn higher returns than similar instruments while providing much-needed funds for loans to churches and nonprofits. Lives are being transformed because of your investment, making it possible for the church to construct, expand, and renovate facilities, acquire land and property, and refinance other financial institutions’ loans. Below are the new higher certificate rates as of January 2023.*

1-year = 3.00%

2-year = 4.00%

3-year = 3.75%

4-year = 3.50%

To learn more, please:

1. Visit our Certificate Program Offering Circular and Application Page

2. Review our Certificate Investments Brochure

2. Contact the Foundation at 770-449-6726 or

*All rates are subject to change without notice. Please contact the Foundation at 770-449-6726 for current rates. Georgia United Methodist churches, nonprofits, individuals, and families must invest a minimum of $5,000. Certificates are not insured by the FDIC or any other government agency and are not obligations of or guaranteed by a bank. This ad constitutes neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy the securities described. Offers are made only after receiving and reviewing an Offering Circular.

Posted: November 1st, 2022 | Permalink

Atlanta First UMC’s Long-standing Partnership With the Foundation


When the Rev. Jasmine R. Smothers was appointed lead pastor of Atlanta First UMC in 2016, she became the first female, the first person of color, and the youngest leader in the congregation’s 175-year history. In this Q&A, Smothers discusses the church’s long-standing partnership with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.

Q: Why does Atlanta First UMC partner with the Foundation on the investment of its funds?
The Rev. Smothers:
Atlanta First has a long-standing partnership in which we have invested funds with the Foundation that proceeds me in my appointments here, first as associate pastor and now as lead pastor. Churches have unique needs, especially when it comes to understanding how and when we will need the funding to handle capital emergencies and different things that crop up. The Foundation understands churches in a way other investment companies don’t understand churches. So, we have appreciated the close working relationship through the years.

Q: What are the benefits of choosing the Foundation as your investment partner?
The Rev. Smothers:
The flexibility. The Foundation offers many different ways to partner together, and the opportunities we get to share as a connectional church are important to us. We don’t invest with the Foundation just because we are good stewards for Atlanta First. We also invest for the good of the North Georgia Conference and the community as a whole.

Q: In what ways does the Foundation help Atlanta First UMC fulfill its purpose and mission?
The Rev. Smothers:
The Foundation has helped us keep a real sense of the church and the church’s mission. The Foundation provides many learning tools for churches to help us understand how best to manage the assets and gifts that God has given us through God’s people.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has launched a faith-based development initiative to help churches help the city fulfill the goal of providing 20,000 affordable housing units in the next eight years. Atlanta First embarked upon this initiative in February 2022. We already have the endowment funds in place through investments with the Foundation to take on this project and do what we need to do to provide affordable housing in our community.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
The Rev. Smothers:
If any church out there is looking to attempt something so big that without God, it’s bound to fail, the Foundation is a great resourcing partner in that ministry and can be helpful to churches in ways beyond having funds to invest.

Posted: November 1st, 2022 | Permalink

Due West UMC Creates an Endowment for Future Generations


A retired certified financial planner, Bill Coffeen is a former member of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation Board of Trustees and now serves on the Strategic Purpose Task Force Committee.

In 2016, he established the Bill and Inez Coffeen Scholarship Endowment with the Foundation to honor his parents while supporting students and future Christian leaders who attend Methodist higher education institutions.

As chair of Due West UMC's Legacy Ministry Committee, Bill encouraged the church to enroll in the Foundation's Legacy Ministry Training Program. In this Q&A, Bill provides insight into the training, which allows members to give or leave a gift to the church endowment.

Q: Why did Due West UMC enroll in the Foundation’s Legacy Ministry Training Program?
 We enrolled to increase the likelihood of success in building an endowment of lasting value. Why reinvent the wheel when the template for success was available? Using the videos and related support materials helped us as a committee to stay on track. While the concept of an endowment is quite simple, creating the framework to sustain it is far more complex and requires thorough due diligence. The Foundation’s tools and readily available phone consultations greatly benefited our church as it would any other Methodist community of believers.

Q: How does the Foundation help Due West UMC fulfill its mission?
Participating in the United Methodist Dollars for Scholars program for many years and recently creating an endowment for future generations helps Due West as a church and as individuals expand its stewardship role in our community and the world.

Q: Why is this endowment critical to the church’s future?
This endowment reminds us that everything comes from God and that our ability to help future generations doesn’t stop at death but continues in perpetuity.

Q: Why should Due West UMC members leave a legacy to support the church?
Just as daffodils multiply over time and blossom annually, so too does an endowment whose earnings (blossoms) can be distributed periodically while the principal (the bulbs) keeps growing and spreading. The blessings of such activity live on forever.

Posted: November 1st, 2022 | Permalink