“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”
At the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, our daily work is governed by a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors. This Board exercises an amazing commitment to strengthening the assets of the Foundation, as it has been doing for over half a century! The assets comprise an endowment of invested funds that generate income. Income is released yearly according to a mandated formula, transferring money for the Church to use as it sees fit.
The interaction occurs year after year, giving Foundation donors and the Church confidence in the Foundation’s ability to safeguard and grow the endowment and to be firmly committed to the Church’s mission and members. The Foundation, likewise, has confidence in the Church’s commitment to continually fulfill its mission: To love God by following Christ and serving people to help transform lives through an understanding of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. In fact, every Sunday, our ministers remind us to recommit to going out to be God’s people in the world!
Like the Foundation and the Church, commitment and confidence go hand-in-hand. Commitment builds confidence as well as asset value. Confidence in turn engenders further commitment from donors and from Church leaders who actively participate on the Foundation Board of Directors. To share a bit of how all this benefits FUMCFW members and mission, let’s take a look at the most recent three years:
• During 2013, over $1.1 million dollars was released to the Church to fund many projects. Two notable ones were the renovations to our beautiful Sanctuary and the purchase of risers and chairs for the Choir. Monies also helped purchase a new car for the senior pastor and underwrote upgrades to Room 154 in the Main Church for meetings, classes, and other gatherings.
• In 2014, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation founding. The Foundation released $2.1 million dollars to the Church. The Church used these funds to help with renovations in the Sanctuary and Justin Building and supported the construction and dedication of the beautiful Anne S. and Henry B. Paup Sanctuary Pipe Organ. The funds made it possible to purchase a pick-up truck for Lyle Lodge and a cargo van for the Church. As well, they made critical technology upgrades to the Church computer system and software.
• During 2015, Foundation funds flowed to the Church for them to renovate the thriving Children’s Area and Bride’s Room by relocating the Library from the second floor to the first floor of the Church. Foundation funds enabled the Church to hire new security personnel. Some of the income was spent on various repairs at Lyle Lodge. In total, over $2 million was released to the Church during 2015.
For 52 years, funds have been released to further support the Church’s operating budget, maintenance, and repair of the Church facilities, as well as many wonderful programs and ministries. Foundation distributions are a critical source of funding. In fact, since 1964, the Church has received funding in excess of $49 million from Foundation investments.
We are curious if this comes as a surprise or simply recaps what you already knew about the Foundation. So, we prepared a survey for members to weigh in on their knowledge about Foundation efforts. You can find a card to fill out in the Information Center at the church, or call the Foundation office for a copy: 817/339-5089. Please give us some feedback!
We’re planning additional information this year, with the goal of further education and transparency. Having just completed the 2015 audit in March, we’re planning to publish an electronic annual report early this summer. Then, we’re expanding awareness about the Helen W. Watt Society, open to those who remember the Foundation in their wills and estate plans. Our next newsletter (out in early June) will have details about the Society and how to become a part of it. We are also scheduling a very special early October Helen W. Watt Society dinner to celebrate its first 10 years.
“The commitment to strength and focus by our Board of Directors has produced a strong and successful Foundation for our Church,” said Chris Choate, Board member. “The confidence our donors place in the Foundation has led to continued growth for over 52 years.”
The mission is clear and articulated; the sole purpose of the Foundation is to support our Church. Want more information, a copy of the survey, or details about the Helen W. Watt Society? Please call Sid at 817/339-5072 or Lisa at 817/339-5089. There’s a lot working together for good at our Foundation and our Church!