2018 Annual Report
The Brethren in Christ Foundation (Foundation) exists to serve the Brethren in Christ U.S. (BIC U.S.) and its congregations and members through lending, investing, and planned giving. The Foundation has helped congregations large and small, old and new, continue to grow and to serve God’s Kingdom for more than 45 years. Our members have made it possible to meet this need through faithful investing and giving.
During the last three years, the Foundation has focused on improving our internal processes, increasing our visibility throughout the BIC U.S., and expanding services offered to the denomination. Though we have made great progress, there remains a great deal more to accomplish. We look forward to the challenges the future holds.
For 2017, the Foundation emphasized growing our loan portfolio. During the year, I am pleased to report we funded 19 new loans totaling $7.2 million. Fifteen of these loans went to churches or BIC U.S. institutions. We funded four new loans to pastors for the purchase or repair of their homes. The Foundation’s loan portfolio grew by a net of $5.3 million or 16.3%. We were able to provide loans in every regional conference for a variety of projects ranging from $3,000 equipment purchases to multi-million dollar buildings. Each project has served to strengthen our Church family and those we serve in the community.
Fiscal-year 2017 was another strong year for our securities offerings: Remaining competitive in the rising interest rate environment, the Foundation continues to provide stable investment options for those who have a heart for ministry. Several congregations have invested their building funds with the Foundation for a number of years. In 2017, these churches were able to use these investments to fund a large portion of their building projects. The Foundation is thankful for the loyal support of our investors throughout the years. They have enabled the Foundation to support the ministries of the BIC U.S.
The Foundation continues to support our local congregations with their outreach efforts through our Matching Grant program. During 2017, we funded 39 grants for 33 different congregations in every regional conference. The creativity of our local congregations to bring God’s Word to the community is inspiring, and the number of community members reached is too numerous to count. We at the Foundation continue to encourage our congregations to seek new and creative ways to tangibly share the love of Christ in their local communities.
During September, Hurricane Irma struck Florida, a state the Foundation has a large number of mortgages. The effects of Irma ranged from wind and rain damage to the cancellation of two to three services for churches throughout the state. Several BIC congregations opened their buildings to the community to provide food and shelter in the aftermath of the storm. The Foundation was able to help the affected congregations in a number of ways. We granted loan deferments to congregations for September, allowing them to use these funds to recover from the effects of the hurricane. In consultation with the Bishop, we provided funds to those in the greatest need.
In July 2017, Rick Snyder retired as director of shared services and chief executive officer. Jim Reynolds has been appointed executive director of the BIC Foundation, and Mitch Martin has been appointed director of finance and shared services of BIC U. S. As a result, the Foundation will be hiring a new lead accounting person in the near future. The position will be responsible for a number of accounting functions for both the Foundation and BIC U.S.
In November, the board of directors welcomed Chad Wenger as a new member. Chad serves as pastor of Mechanicsburg Community Church. Chad has experience in business as well as ministry. His skill set is an excellent fit for the Foundation’s board of directors
The Foundation has been fortunate to have the support of long-term, loyal investors. Their investments have enabled us to provide a stable lending facility to our pastors and congregations. We are grateful for their faith in us. We continue to evaluate new offerings and services to keep the Foundation relevant with our ever-changing membership.
We have completed a set of three videos marketing the Foundation. Our hope is these videos will increase the exposure of the Foundation throughout the denomination. We continue to focus on developing plans to promote the Foundation, BIC U.S., and our planned giving efforts.
As I begin my service as executive director, I am thankful to our dedicated staff, board members, and constituents who have all made the Foundation a healthy ministry of the BIC U.S. I look forward to further strengthening the Foundation’s services enabling us to continue to support the future growth of the BIC U. S. and its congregations and pastors.
Your partner in ministry,
Jim Reynolds, Executive Director
Brethren in Christ Foundation