TMF Announces Relief Efforts to Help Methodist Churches in Texas Recover Following Hurricane Harvey
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF), the largest United Methodist foundation in the United States, has announced a goal of $50 million in new funds for the foundation’s Methodist Loan Fund in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. TMF's Methodist Loan Fund enables participating individuals and organizations to invest in the growth of United Methodist ministries. The fund is the source for competitive loans made through TMF to United Methodist churches in Texas and New Mexico for new construction and capital improvements to create or expand ministries in their communities. MLF investments earn interest generally higher than comparable certificate of deposit investments.
“For many years, the Texas Methodist Foundation has been a great partner in helping churches with their financial needs,” Bishop Scott Jones, resident bishop of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, said. “As our Harvey recovery progresses, churches will be turning to TMF for new or additional loans, and those investing with TMF will be aiding the recovery while gaining a good return on their investment.”
The minimum investment in the fund is $1,000. Investment applications are available online at methodistloanfund.org or can be processed by phone at 800/933-5502.
“The needs of our storm-ravaged congregations are real and urgent. One way to help those affected is through investing with TMF’s Methodist Loan Fund,” Bishop Robert Schnase, resident bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, said. “Investments in this fund earn respectable interest while providing the capital for TMF to respond to credit-worthy borrowers and empowering United Methodist ministry.”
In addition to investing in the Methodist Loan Fund, TMF encourages individuals and organizations throughout Texas to continue to donate to the many outstanding organizations helping with the relief efforts, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and direct giving to the United Methodist conferences impacted by the hurricane
“As the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey continues, TMF is committed to providing vital aid and standing with our neighbors in communities affected by the storm,” Tom Locke, president of TMF, said.
As an initial response toward addressing the help needed from Hurricane Harvey’s damage, TMF donated $200,000 to disaster relief efforts, with $100,000 going to the Rio Texas Conference and $100,000 to the Texas Annual Conference. TMF also set up a fund for each conference to help those affected by the hurricane.
TMF also implemented a disaster relief assistance program to help United Methodist organizations and churches affected by Hurricane Harvey that have existing loans with TMF. Effective September 1, churches and organizations located in Texas counties included in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration automatically received a two percent reduction of interest rates for four months. These churches and organizations also have the option to defer loan payments for up to four months.
“In addition to these immediate efforts to assist with recovery, the Methodist Loan Fund will help deliver necessary long-term financial resources to Methodist churches in need, so they can rebuild and continue to help their congregations and communities during this time of incomprehensible loss,” said Locke.
You may download the press release here.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TMF is a nonprofit organization offering assistance to United Methodists through investments, loans, grants and leadership, stewardship, gift planning, and endowment services. TMF serves the six United Methodist conferences throughout Texas and New Mexico. Leading from its core values of servanthood, integrity and competence, TMF has been serving United Methodist congregations for more than 75 years. It is the largest United Methodist foundation in the country with more than $525 million in assets under management. To learn more, please visit https://www.tmf-fdn.org.