Perfect Partners

McKendree UMC was looking for a partnership.

Located in downtown Washington D.C., the needs of their mission field were great, but the church’s exceptional vision was greater. “Our church is on the move,” Pastor David Hall proclaimed. “We are addressing capital needs, so everything we own will be in productive, missional use.”

Pastor David Hall prays at the alter

Pastor David Hall prays at the alter

The church needed to repair a dysfunctional heating system in their educational building, so they could start using the space for outreach ministries such as food and clothing distribution, daycare, counseling services, and music lessons for local children. Their goal to enhance the facilities’ productivity was far more reaching than this, however.

In light of D.C.’s affordable housing shortage, they wanted to renovate four homes they owned so three local families would have a safe, reasonably priced place to live and students serving on mission would have a place to stay. Additionally, they wanted to be a pioneer in water conservation, serving as an example of how organizations could conserve water, reduce their water bills, and reduce their rain tax.   

McKendree took their vision to commercial lenders, but Pastor Hall was not satisfied with the church’s options. “I felt the banks wanted too much as security. They were overreaching.”

A mother holds her child during a worship service at McKendree UMC in Washington D.C.

A mother holds her child during a worship service at McKendree UMC in Washington D.C.

As they searched for a lender, Pastor Hall did not know The United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF) even existed. When his wife told him UMDF was a United Methodist organization that offered loans and investment opportunities to churches, he decided to learn more.

What he discovered was the exact partnership his church needed.

“Banks have no interest in people coming to know Christ. UMDF is different. They are committed to helping churches grow,” Pastor Hall noted. “UMDF saw us as a unit of giving and service in the community.”

After the application process was successful with UMDF, McKendree got to work making the improvements they knew they needed to serve their community more effectively and the results have been stunning. The loan substantially increased their income, by allowing them to start a daycare center and renovate three rental houses. They added $18,500 a month to their budget by simply being good stewards of their facilities and providing affordable housing.

A violinist plays the prelude as worship begins at mckendree umc in Washington d.C.

A violinist plays the prelude as worship begins at mckendree umc in Washington d.C.

With this extra income, McKendree UMC has not only been able to pour resources into their own ministries, but they have been able to assist other local churches as well.

When it comes to evaluating this partnership, Pastor Hall says it best – “UMDF has unlocked our potential. It is the best thing that has happened to this church in a long time.”

UMDF supports McKendree’s ministry vision.  Do you want a partner like UMDF?