NEW YORK (UMNS) ___ For more than 50 years, the United Methodist Development Fund has helped United Methodists create new spaces for worship in existing and new places. Now, a new website will give local churches, districts, annual conferences and other United Methodist entities easy access to information about the fund's competitive loans and investment opportunities.
The United Methodist Development Fund helps United Methodists create new spaces for worship in existing and new places, one of the primary missions of its parent agency, The General Board of Global Ministries.
Though it has existed for more than 50 years, the United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF) is often overlooked as a source for financing church expansion or restoration. However, a new website (http://www.umdevelopmentfund.org/about) will give local churches, districts, annual conferences and other United Methodist entities easy access to information about the fund’s extremely competitive loans and investment opportunities.
“The UMDF is a hidden treasure within The United Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Paul Kong, co-executive director of the fund. “Not all the churches around the country are aware of what the UMDF offers. The fund empowers United Methodist entities to expand, and any United Methodist can invest in the fund.
“The new website allows people to know there’s a funding source they can tap into with the family of The United Methodist Church,” he said. “We are ready to serve them.”
Co-executive director Wayne Moy agrees. “We have a lot of money to loan out – about $29 million. Our directors wanted to kick off a strong marketing campaign, and the website will be a resource for the connection so that when the time comes for a church to refinance, renovate or build, we’ll have a relationship with them already.”
A not-for-profit organization, the United Methodist Development Fund exists to help United Methodists create new spaces for worship in existing and new places, one of the primary missions of its parent agency, The General Board of Global Ministries. According to Treasurer Roland Fernandes, up to 15 percent of the fund’s annual surplus can be given back to Global Ministries for evangelism. All other monies are used for new loans.
“’We want to help churches grow, and the church as a whole grow,” said Fernandes.
“We’ve been doing this for over 50 years,” said Moy, “so we know churches, we know church finances. We’re a nonprofit, so we’re basically here to serve The United Methodist Church and help the church grow.”
John Redmond, president of the fund’s Board of Directors, said that unlike a traditional bank or lender, the staff of The United Methodist Development Fund understands church finances. “It makes us easier for folks to deal with because they don’t have to explain pledge drives and apportionment payments to a lender,” he said. “Another big plus is that interest borrowers pay to the fund is not used to pay dividends to stockholders or to pay big salaries to executives. It’s used to make more loans.
“People will be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to have a business relationship with us,” he said.
“We’re a lean, small operation,” agrees Moy. “There’s no excess. We only make loans for the growth of The United Methodist Church.”
The new website is easy to navigate and user-friendly with information on church and other United Methodist entity loans for refinancing, new construction, church expansion, renovation and site purchase, and on investment opportunities, including notes, CDs (Certificate of Deposit) and IRAs (Individual Retirement Account).
Visit the website at http://www.umdevelopmentfund.org to learn more about loans and investments.
You may also contact the Fund at 212–870–3856 or 800–UMC-UMDF.