By Haley Klein

United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas Contributor

L to R- Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston, Houston, Tx; Rev. J. Wayne Clark president of UMFA; Rev. Dr. Michael Roberts, First UMC, Conway; Rev. Sieg Johnson and Dale Brubaker, Christ of the Hills, Hot Springs Village; Jim Kimzey, First UMC, Malvern; John Gibson, First UMC, Morrilton, and Patti Cox of First UMC, Ft. Smith attended the endowment seminar.

On April 30, clergy and laity gathered in the Lusk Training Center of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas to hear from UMFA staff and Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston, retired pastor from St. Paul’s UM Church, Houston, Texas. The seminar focused on endowment fund creation, growth, and management. An endowment fund is a financial asset in which the original gift is never spent but invested, and the income is used for a specific purpose. “An endowment fund can enhance the ministry of your church from gifts that last in perpetuity. In a time when operating budgets are limited, endowments provide a steady stream of income to offset operations, and go beyond the budget,” said UMFA Vice President of Development Janet Marshall.

“Constant reminders to church members about the endowments at your church is key to their growth,” said Rev. Bankston. St. Paul’s foundation grew from $2 million to $20 million during his 19 years as pastor.

Jim Kimzey from FUMC, Malvern attended the seminar. “We have an Endowment Committee which has been very much reactive rather than proactive in the past few years. Fortunately, our Sr. Pastor, Bruce Bennett, feels strongly about the need and advantages of an endowment program. The information provided during the UMFA’s Endowment Seminar will be of value as we prepare our plans for a renewed endowment and planned giving program at FUMC Malvern. “

The mission of the UMFA is to create and administer permanent charitable endowment funds to help strengthen and grow United Methodist ministries in Arkansas. Rev. J. Wayne Clark UMFA president added, “This seminar was provided to share information with local churches so they understand how the Foundation can partner with them in making a difference for ministry.”

To learn more about endowments and your local church, please contact Janet Marshall at jmarshall@umfa.org or 501.664.8632.