Ozark Mission Project receives UMFA grant to expand staffing

Ozark Mission Project, an Arkansas ministry that transforms lives through worship, fellowship and hands-on mission, has received a $50,000 challenge grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas (UMFA) to add a recruitment officer to its staff.

“The recruitment officer will work to engage United Methodist youth and adults from more Arkansas congregations in this vital ministry,” said Jim Argue, UMFA president and CEO, in a Nov. 20 news release. “Our UMFA grants committee wants to be a part of expanding OMP’s capability for outreach.”

Ozark Mission Project has transformed the hearts of youth, adults and the neighbors they serve for nearly 30 years. The experiences campers have at OMP, serving others and working with fellow United Methodists from across the state, have a lifelong impact. Many campers continue to be involved in their local churches throughout their youth and into adulthood.

According to Bailey Faulkner, executive director of OMP, the organization served a record number of neighbors in 2015, but with fewer campers registered to participate.

“We are so thankful for this grant because it marks a turning point in our ability to grow OMP,” she said. “To have a full-time person focusing on recruitment means so much to us, but also to the United Methodist Church. Because of this grant, more people will be in the mission field doing work for our neighbors across the state.”

The grant requires that OMP raise $20,000 toward support of the recruitment officer position in the next two years. To meet that challenge, the OMP board of directors has added $10,000 to its fundraising goals for 2016 and 2017. “Through house parties, offerings and online gifts as a part of the statewide ArkansasGives Day April 7, 2016, we will meet the $20,000 challenge,” said Faulkner.

One of the largest United Methodist foundations in the country, UMFA manages $135 million across more than 750 endowment funds and other charitable assets that benefit local churches and other United Methodist ministries.