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Texas Methodist Foundation Relief Efforts Focus on Helping Methodist Churches in Texas

TMF Announces $50 million Goal into Methodist Loan Fund to Help Texas Churches Recover/Rebuild in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

As the rebuilding phase of Hurricane Harvey begins to kick into high gear, faith communities affected by Harvey will need access to capital to restore and, in some cases, rebuild their churches, other buildings and infrastructure. One of the ways that the people and churches of the Central Texas Conference can help this effort is to support The Texas Methodist Foundation’s Methodist Loan Fund.
 
The Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) is the largest United Methodist foundation in the United States and has the mechanisms in place to deliver the needed capital to churches via its loan program. However, TMF needs investments into its Methodist Loan Fund (MLF) to ensure that it has the liquidity to meet the anticipated loan demand. In preparations for the anticipated increase in loan demands from churches recovering from Harvey, TMF has announced a goal of $50 million in new funds for the MLF.
 
“Investing in TMF’s Methodist Loan Fund, like supporting UMCOR, is another way that we can step up to help meet the long-term needs of the churches along the Gulf Coast to re-establish those vital faith communities in the affected areas,” said Bishop Lowry. “TMF has been a long and vital part of our shared ministry in Central Texas and it is important that we help this effort as we are able.”
 
In addition to the information and assistance found on its main website - www.tmf-fdn.org – The Texas Methodist Foundation has just launched methodistloanfund.org as a way to more easily submit an application or receive a call back for more information. Visitors to this page need only provide their preferred contact info to receive a call back from a TMF representative. Applications can also be downloaded from this microsite.
 
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,” explained Bishop Robert Schnase, resident bishop of the Rio Texas Conference. “Investments in this fund earn respectable interest while providing the capital for TMF to respond to credit-worthy borrowers and empowering United Methodist ministry.”
 
TMF's Methodist Loan Fund is the source for competitive loans made to UMCs in Texas and New Mexico for new construction and capital improvements to create or expand ministries in their communities. The fund also enables individuals and organizations to effectually invest in the growth of United Methodist ministries as MLF investments earn interest generally higher than comparable certificate of deposit investments.
 
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,” mentioned Tom Locke, president of TMF.
 
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.
 
“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.
 
TMF has also implemented a disaster relief assistance program to help United Methodist organizations and churches affected by Hurricane Harvey with existing TMF loans. Effective Sept. 1, churches and organizations located in Texas counties included in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration will automatically receive a two percent reduction of interest rates for four months. These churches and organizations will also have the option to defer loan payments for up to four months.
 
“For many years, the Texas Methodist Foundation has been a great partner in helping churches with their financial needs,” stated Bishop Scott Jones, resident bishop of the Texas Annual Conference. “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. For more information on the Methodist Loan Fund, please visit methodistloanfund.org. For other information and ways to help, please visit www.tmf-fdn.org.
 
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.