Pittman Park UMC lives out its mission through community, discipleship, and worship. Over 40 groups use the church’s facilities for yearly meetings. Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Jonathan Smith believes that being a gathering place for their congregation and community allows the church to reach people for Jesus Christ and make a real difference in Statesboro and beyond.
Pittman Park UMC’s partnership with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation dates back to 2009 when the church established the Charles Black Memorial Education Scholarship fund. Dr. Smith explains why the church entrusts its investment funds to the Foundation.
“How we steward the resources that God has blessed us with matters. Knowing that the Foundation shares the same values and core mission gives me peace of mind about our investments,” Dr. Smith said. “The Foundation has done a remarkable job with our Charles Black Scholarship corpus. We hope to have the same stability and growth for the future through the funds recently deposited with the Foundation.”
“I received a call from Roger Doty, Pittman Park UMC’s finance chair, about investing some of their endowment funds with us,” said Dr. Rick Lanford, Foundation regional vice president. “It makes you feel good knowing that their investment with the Foundation will help provide the necessary funding for future ministry for years to come.”
Pittman Park UMC is known for its generosity. When Miss Wood and Miss Dozier passed away, they left money to Pittman Park UMC in their estates. Decades later, their legacy gifts provided the seed money for the church’s first reserve fund.
Doty has served as the church’s finance chair several times since 1987. With nearly 40 years in the financial services industry, he is committed to helping Pittman Park UMC achieve its financial goals while navigating unexpected challenges.
“The funds Miss Wood and Miss Dozier left have been borrowed against many times in the church’s history,” Doty explained. “Since we never had any reserves, we used their funds for that and have always paid the funds back.”
In 2015, the church launched a $1 million capital campaign to fix a leaky roof and establish a $200,000 reserve fund. Doty was disappointed when the reroofing expenses alone cost $1 million.
“When I became finance chair in 2020, my goal was finally to achieve this long elusive reserve fund. That goal went away rather quickly when COVID caused us to shut the church doors in March. Like a lot of churches and organizations, I was afraid of what would happen to our community and church,” Doty shared. “Amazingly, the giving held up, and expenses went down. The dedication of our congregation during this crazy time enabled us to get to the other side of the pandemic with money in the bank! Pittman Park UMC was blessed. We were able to add about $200,000 to the reserve money that Miss Wood and Miss Dozier left us.”
Despite the initial obstacles in establishing a reserve fund, the church’s faith and determination paid off.
“I am thankful for the ministry of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation and how it has helped so many churches invest, finance, and grow throughout the years,” Dr. Smith said. “I am proud that Pittman Park has chosen to invest its funds with the Foundation.”
Doty adds, “The Foundation is the perfect place for the church’s investment monies. By having a reserve fund, we can be more aggressive in building our annual budget and use all the money given this year to immediately apply towards building God’s kingdom.”