by Vance Morton*
Today, Presidents Day – a day in which we remember and honor those leaders that blazed a trail in the wilderness of life for our country – sees the dawning of another new and exciting chapter in the life of the Central Texas Conference as it was officially announced that the Central Texas Methodist Foundation (CTMF) and the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) have joined forces and resources. (Click here or visit tmf-fdn.org to read the entire announcement from TMF.) What began last year as a seed of an idea has now officially blossomed into a magnificent reality ripe with promise and possibilities for the people of the Central Texas Conference.
When the Central Texas Methodist Foundation first approached the Texas Methodist Foundation several months ago with the idea of joining resources, the two groups began an extensive due-diligence process to determine if this was the best thing for all parties involved, especially the churches, investors, donors and others associated with the two foundations. After the several-months-long process was completed, TMF determined that assuming the majority of CTMF’s assets and liabilities would be a positive move for both organizations. The joining of the two foundations became official Thursday afternoon, Feb. 16. The total assets of TMF, following the acquisition, now exceeds $400 million.
Bishop Mike Lowry and the leadership of the Central Texas Conference are delighted by today’s announcement and heartily endorse the decision of both foundations. “The Texas Methodist Foundation has an unparalleled reputation for providing excellent financial and leadership services to the United Methodist churches and individuals throughout Texas,” said Bishop Lowry applauding the combination of resources. “We have been blessed over the years by the kingdom building ministry of both foundations. The wise decision to combine resources will greatly benefit the mission and ministry of the Central Texas Conference.”
People holding accounts with the CTMF were sent letters immediately upon the closing of the deal officially announcing the joining of the two foundations and providing information about how their accounts will be transitioned. While the financial details of the transaction are confidential, both organizations were eager to point out that the terms of all existing CTMF contracts will be honored by TMF.
The Texas Methodist Foundation team has published a very informative Frequently Asked Questions page for those looking for more clarification on today’s announcement. You can access those FAQs here. If you have specific questions regarding investments, please contact Sara Beltran at 800-933-5502 or firstname.lastname@example.org; for questions concerning loans, you should contact Carol Nelson at 800-933-5502 or email@example.com; or for questions around donor funds and relations, you are asked to contact Candy Gross at 800-933-5502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Austin-based Texas Methodist Foundation, which happens to be the largest United Methodist foundation in the U.S., and the Central Texas Methodist Foundation feature near identical services and have long shared a resolve to assist the United Methodist connection with the resources needed to fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. According to Tom Locke, president, Texas Methodist Foundation, those services and goals remain firmly in place. “The two foundations have always shared the same goal of connecting financial practices with spiritual and social responsibility,” Mr. Locke stated. “We will provide the very highest levels of service and financial stability to our constituents as we continue to focus on our core values of servanthood, competence and integrity.”
In addition to offering competitive interest rates on investments, the Texas Methodist Foundation has strict underwriting and lending policies that are closely monitored by a highly qualified statewide board of directors. Since its inception in 1938, TMF has never experienced a loss of principal on any loan it has originated, yet it sets aside assets in reserve to protect investors in the unlikely event a loan recipient defaults and a loss results.
Today’s announcement also coincides with the retirement of CTMF President Pat Sprayberry-Hall (shown picture left with TMF President Tom Locke moments after signing the transition agreement). Pat played a pivotal role in making the transition of resources a reality. Please join us in thanking Pat for her faithful service to the Central Texas Conference and in wishing her well in the next chapter of her life.
*Vance is the director of communications for the Central Texas Conference. email@example.com