By Stephen Drury, President
For many years, the leadership of The United Pentecostal Church International considered the need for our own Church Loan Fund. There are approximately 100 church denominations in the United States who operate these types of funds under securities rules passed in 1933. The rules require stringent controls and regulations so that investor dollars are protected.
In 2002 The Stewardship Group was formed under the Church Administration department of the UPCI. The first entity started through Stewardship was the United Pentecostal Foundation, then United Insurance Solutions, Inc. Then at General Conference in 2010 in Houston, Texas the approval was given to start our own Church Loan Fund. Attorneys and consultants were hired to form the new UPC Loan Fund that included the legal structure, policies and procedures. The first board was appointed by the General Board in March 2011 and the first meeting was held April 26th that year. The Loan Fund started applying in different states for approval to offer investments in “Loan Certificates.”
Individuals, churches and districts can invest in the UPC Loan Fund. The different investment opportunities are:
- Loan Fund Certificates: 1-year, 3-year and 5-year certificates starting at $5,000 minimum investment
- Kingdom Impact Account: Month-to-month investments starting at $25 minimum investment
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): both Traditional and ROTH with no minimum investment
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs): Education savings with no minimum investment
The first investment was made June 30, 2011. It was $20,000. As of this writing our assets are over $70,000,000.
The investments are then used to make loans to UPCI churches, districts and colleges. Presently we have made over 200 loans with around 60 who have already paid off their loans. Our latest offering circular allows the Loan Fund to reach up to $100,000,000 by June 30, 2021. We are already larger than over 750 banks in the United States.
We encourage all pastors and church leadership to consider two things:
- Share with your members the opportunity to invest in the Loan Fund. They will make a great return on their investment, and their money will be used to help growing congregations in the UPCI build, expand and purchase new facilities to reach their communities with the Acts 2:38 message of salvation.
- Churches need to have margins for times of crises, such as the current Covid-19 situation, so that there is always money available to cover expenses.
Being a part of the UPC Loan Fund through investments and the use of funds for church loans benefits the Kingdom in one more way you may not have considered. And that is it keeps profits going back into the Kingdom rather than a bank that uses their profits to sometimes fund activities in your community we preach against.
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