Our History

Our History

In the early 1960s, the Rev. Dr. Robert C. Holmes, a retired Florida Conference pastor, and other visionary leaders worked to establish a ministry that would help the Florida Conference and its churches grow and do more with their resources. The Florida Methodist Foundation was born.

On June 3, 1966, the Rev. George A. Foster presented a resolution to establish the foundation at the Florida Conference’s annual gathering. It was approved the next day. The conference then named Holmes executive director and elected nine board members, including A.B. Blackburn, a Jacksonville attorney and friend of Holmes, who prepared the foundation’s resolution and charter.In recollections about Holmes in the late ’90s, Blackburn described him as a good businessman and “someone who always looked to the future.” “He possessed a unique combination of talents,” Blackburn said. “He was a minister who also happened to be a financial genius.”

Holmes wanted to save and earn money for the conference, and he believed the foundation could serve conference churches and agencies by facilitating charitable gifts and managing investments. He traveled the state to promote the foundation’s work, Blackburn said, and he used his business and financial acumen to benefit “anything to do with Methodism in Florida.” The foundation was one of the early Methodist foundations established, and in 1968, it joined six others to form the National Association of United Methodist Foundations. The organization now includes foundations representing every United Methodist conference in the United States.

Nearly a decade later in 1976, the Florida foundation launched the Florida United Methodist Development Fund Inc., a separate corporation. The fund was created to provide below-market mortgage financing for churches and conference agencies and above-market investment returns for individual and institutional investors in Florida.

In 1990, the foundation added united to its name, reflecting the denomination’s 1968 merger, and over the next decade, the foundation’s ministry grew. In 1995, it became financially independent from the Florida Conference.

In 2003, the foundation and Development Fund merged to become one corporation, the Florida United Methodist Foundation. And in 2016, the foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary and a half-century of partnering with United Methodists across the conference to put faithful stewardship into action.

Our Mission

The foundation’s ministry has always been to support The United Methodist Church’s broad mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” In its 2012 strategic plan, the foundation redefined that focus: “to strengthen ministries of United Methodist churches and agencies by promoting comprehensive Christian stewardship through education, consulting, development and financial services.”

Through its ministries, the foundation provides the tools and resources churches and individuals need to do God’s work.

Prayer Circle

Timeline

1966

Visionary Leaders Start A
Foundation To Help Churches

1966

1966

1978

Development Fund Makes First Building Loan

Development Fund

1978

1991

Celebrating 25 Years of Helping Churches,
Individuals Be Good Stewards

1991

1991

2004

Emergency Grants Help Churches
Rebuild After Hurricanes

1997

2004

2016

Looking To The Future, Ministry For The Next Generations

2007

2016

Since it's inception,

The foundation has provided hundreds of loans to churches and agencies for construction and renovation projects that enable ministries to thrive. It has offered high quality, socially screened investment options that give churches the ability to make the most of the gifts entrusted to them. And it has helped individuals set up the charitable giving options they need to make a lasting impact on the ministries they value most.

In 2016, the foundation celebrated that history and 50 years of partnering with United Methodists across the conference to put faithful stewardship into action. Learn more through the articles below.

Play Video

Our Leaders

Our experienced staff and volunteers share a passion for helping people and ministries do the most good with their resources, putting faithful Christian stewardship into action.

Ministry

We’re passionate about empowering people and ministries to earn all they can, save all they can and give all they can so they can transform the world.

Give Now

Gifts to the foundation provide resources for grants that help churches and agencies offer vital ministries that support and nurture people of all ages, transforming lives.

Scroll to Top