Impacting Lives Through the Foundation's Loan Program


Thanks to investments in the Certificate Program, the Georgia United Methodist Foundation served 65 Methodist-affiliated entities and had a net loan portfolio valued at $31.8 million in 2021. Jim Pope, senior advisor to the president and director of lending, and Lori Tucker, loan administrator, help pastors, board chairs, and financial committee leaders achieve their property and facility financing goals. Four lending partners share how the Foundation’s Loan Program impacts lives.

The Rev. Dr. Rodrigo Cruz
The North Georgia Conference Central East District Superintendent and The Nett Church Lead Pastor, Lawrenceville

“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.”

The Rev. Leon Matthews
Warren Memorial UMC Senior Pastor, Atlanta

“The professionalism of Jim Pope (Foundation senior advisor to the president and director of lending) and his thoroughness in walking us through the process was invaluable. This is not my first building project, but it’s the first time I felt my desires as a minister and what I want for the church where everything has been God-centered. I would encourage any congregation, faith-based organization, or 501(c)3 looking to advance God’s kingdom while reaching your financial and construction goals to make the Foundation your first call. It will be your last call.”

The Rev. Jun Namkoong
Atlanta Bethany UMC Senior Pastor, Buford

“We took out a construction loan with the Foundation to renovate the gym into a multipurpose space for worship and sports. This is our second loan with the Foundation. I believe this renovation is God’s plan for us, and the Foundation, the Rev. Dr. Rodrigo Cruz, our district superintendent, the North Georgia Conference, and our church members helped. I am so thankful for the Foundation, which has supported us in many ways. They are a project partner, along with a prayer partner. The Foundation plays a crucial role for the local churches. I hope other churches get help from the Foundation like us.”

The Rev. Tommy Odum
Centerville UMC Lead Pastor, Centerville

“Working with the Methodist Foundation was a no-brainer. We received a lower interest rate and lower mortgage payment, saving us over $2,000 per month. In addition, unlike our former lender, GUMF does not have balloon maturities, which would require the church to pay additional fees to refinance the loan. Conservatively speaking, we’re saving about $150,000 over five years. The Foundation worked hard for us and set us up for the success of our church financially in the future. Our church is in the best financial position we have been in for the past 10 years.”