Did you know that Georgia’s United Methodist congregations range in size from 10 to thousands of members? These congregations and related agencies have been trusting the Georgia United Methodist Foundation and its faith-based financial solutions for more than 40 years.
The ministry of Clinton UMC in Gray dates to the early 1800s. In 2017, church leaders began looking for a place to invest accrued tithes and offerings, and they turned to the Foundation for help. Rev. Jason Dillard, pastor of Clinton UMC, provides insight into the church’s history, this mission-minded family of faith, and its investments in the Foundation’s Certificate Program.
“Clinton is a small, historical church in Jones County with around 35 in attendance most Sundays. Clinton is part of a charge with Gray UMC (where Dillard also serves as pastor). This enables Clinton to have a much larger mission impact in Jones County by partnering with the ministries of Gray UMC,” Dillard said. “The people of Clinton UMC are exceptional at caring for one another and taking care of the church property. They love laughing and worshiping on Sunday mornings.
“Leadership from the Foundation visited the pastor at the time, and the finance chair encouraged them to consider the program. That personal touch and conversation provided the confidence to invest with the Foundation. Knowing the number of churches that invest with the Foundation bolsters my confidence in the Foundation, and the personal connection that comes through contact with the staff, such as visits from Dr. Rick Lanford (Foundation regional vice president) helps the congregation trust the Foundation.”
Over the years, Clinton UMC has invested in the Foundation’s 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-year fixed-rate certificates, which in turn provide funds for loans to Methodist churches and agencies wishing to refinance debt, build, expand, and renovate facilities for sustaining ministry.
“This is truly another benefit of investing through the Certificate Program. Knowing that the interest earned benefits us while also providing capital for other churches to dream and serve makes the Certificate Program a win-win,” Dillard said. “The stability is a definite plus, but our treasurer really values how “local” the Foundation feels. If we need them, they are right here. It also provides peace of mind knowing our investments are cared for with Christian principles.”