Foundation honors Iowa couple, Georgia congregation 

A Keokuk, IA, couple and a Georgia congregation will be recognized with separate awards from the Christian Church Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Directors at their recent spring meeting in Indianapolis:

  • Named Richard and Dolores Lofton of Keokuk as recipients of the Foundation’s Harry T. Ice Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service and philanthropy to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The award is the highest honor given by the Foundation to an individual.
  • Named Cherry Log Christian Church, Cherry Log, GA, recipient of the 2017 James P. Johnson Stewardship Award for leadership, creativity and integrity in the stewardship of accumulated resources and support of general mission funding.

Both awards will be presented during the Foundation’s General Assembly banquet, July 11, in Indianapolis. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the General Assembly website or through the Foundation at (800) 668-8016.

The Loftons, longtime members of First Christian Church in Keokuk, have held various leadership roles within the congregation and region. Richard, a retired insurance agent, also served on the General Board’s Commission on Finance and later on the Board of the United Christian Missionary Society and Division of Overseas Ministries. They are known for their generous support and advocacy of the church’s general mission funding system and outreach efforts.

Leaders at Cherry Log Christian Church have created a unique planned giving ministry, which they have named Legacy Partners, to recognize members who put end-of-life gifts in place to benefit the church. More than 60 people have now included the congregation in their legacy giving plans.

The congregation ranks No. 3 in the nation in its participating membership size in contributions to Disciples Mission Fund. The church also hosts several unique community outreach ministries.

In other business, the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted to maintain through 2018 the Income rates for permanent funds owned by the Foundation and those partner investment accounts that have chosen to receive distributions based on the defined Income rate. The defined Income rates, based on market forecasts and inflation projections, are:

  • Campbell Multi-Strategy Fund: 4.25%
  • Beasley Growth Fund: 4.0%
  • Common Balanced Fund: 3.75%
  • Brown Income Fund: 2.5%

The defined Income percentage is just a part of the total earnings expected for each investment fund, with the remainder retained to mitigate the impact of inflation over the long term, said Gary Kidwell, Foundation president.

The Board also:

  • Learned about Disciples Women efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery. Pat Donahoo, executive for Disciples Women, said human trafficking can be linked to “the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the storefronts we walk by.” While steps are being taken to help get women and children away from abusers, “trafficking will end when it is no longer profitable.” Donahoo said she appreciates the Foundation's stance to engage and encourage corporations to take anti-trafficking measures. President Kidwell responded: “We are a financial ministry which means people come to us not just for financial returns, but returns that are consistent with our faith and values. That’s why we are involved.”
  • Hired Brookfield Asset Management Inc. of Chicago to manage the Foundation’s global real estate asset class, replacing Voya.
  • Elected Dana Barnes Lee, a member of Loudon Avenue Christian Church in Roanoke, VA, and Jeff King, a member of University Christian Church in Fort Worth, TX, to three-year terms on the Board, starting in 2018. Re-elected to three-year terms were Linda Hull of Jacksonville, FL; Todd Reed of Walton, KY; the Rev. Samuel Robles Jr. of Orlando, FL; the Rev. Tanya Tyler of Sterling, IL; and Sharon Worley of Aurora, CO.

The Board’s next meeting will be Nov. 10-12 in Jacksonville, FL.

The Christian Church Foundation is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with the mission of undergirding ministry through permanent funds, planned gifts and prudent investment of funds owned by Disciples ministries. It is a donor-directed Foundation designed to benefit Disciples ministries and institutions. At the start of 2017, the Foundation was responsible for $654.8 million of the church’s money.

(Posted 5/1/17)