Originally published in the 2017 Spring Quarterly Explorer

The River Road Church Endowment Fund was established in 1967 by a small group of visionary members “to support or benefit the programs at River Road Church.” This year marks a major milestone in the history of this fund: we will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Through generous contributions over the past decades, the fund has grown to approximately $9 million and has made grants of over $2.7 million since 2002 to help River Road Church grow God’s Kingdom for the benefit of our congregation, the community, and the world.

How does it work?

The Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund, all active members of River Road Church, review grant requests and decide which ones to accept based on the church’s needs and priorities. Since 2015, it has been the practice of the Endowment Board of Directors to give at least 3.5% of the fund’s average value on an annual basis to both River Road Church and programs the church supports beyond its walls.

What has it done?

  • Money from the Endowment Fund has been used to assist the church in a variety of ways:
  • Capital projects (e.g., new elevator, expanded parking lot, columbarium, etc.)
  • Mission and outreach ministries (e.g., truck and trailer for ToolBox ministry, funds for youth and adult mission tours, matching funds for the Deacons’ Fellowship Fund and hurricane and tsunami relief funds, etc.)
  • Music ministry (e.g., support for the E. Carl Freeman Concert Series, contribution to the Rejoice & Give Thanks capital campaign, new concert piano, etc.)
  • Staff support (e.g., communications specialist position, pastoral interns, retirement celebrations, etc.)
  • Operating budget support

What will it do in the future?

As noted above, funds are allocated according to the church’s needs and priorities. We are especially interested in the fund supporting practical and spiritual projects, programs, and initiatives that are not covered by our church’s annual operating budget. This includes everything from unexpected capital needs, relief for natural disasters, insurance against economic hard times, and new “blue sky” programs to help our church dream big.

How is this relevant to me?

For at least two reasons. First, the Board of Directors hopes that, if you have ideas for our church, you will engage with our church’s leadership, boards, and committees, and with their support, consider submitting a grant proposal to the Endowment Board of Directors. We are open to your ideas! Second, over the coming year, we will all have opportunities to consider how we may contribute to the Endowment Fund, to leave a lasting legacy that will carry forward for generations to come.

We hope you share our gratitude for those visionary members, who over the years have blessed our church with such a remarkable resource. May we be faithful stewards, continuing our journey of discipleship and the good work of spreading the gospel of Christ.

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