Texas Baptists is reopening its Inflation Relief Grant thanks to a generous gift from First Baptist Church of Midland. The grant aims to help pastors impacted by the recent increase in costs of gas, utilities, groceries and other necessities.
“We are humbled and overjoyed by FBC Midland’s generosity towards pastors and ministers,” Tammy Tervooren of the Texas Baptists Financial Health team said. “Many pastors and ministers have seen increased needs due to inflation, and the generosity of FBC Midland and its congregation will provide some of these pastors with much-needed financial relief.”
FBC Midland first heard about the grant when it was launched in July 2022. Following a year of generous giving, the church realized they had excess funds and began discussing ways to use them. Pastor Darin Wood suggested helping to fund another BGCT Inflation Relief Grant, remembering his own days as a struggling bivocational pastor.
The church’s finance committee agreed and pledged $140,000 to the grant. Wood shared that it is the church’s hope that this grant will be an encouragement to the pastors who receive it.
Our hope is that it will serve pastors and their families, and they’ll be able to stay in the church they’re serving in and breathe easier,” he said.
Wood, who has served at FBC Midland for almost seven years, is excited to see how the grant will encourage pastors and ministers. He hopes it is a reminder to them that their work is important and celebrated.
“Know you’re not forgotten, that the Lord has not forgotten you,” he said. “There are other people besides your church that see you and see the importance of the work that you are doing.”
FBC Midland’s gift was matched by the Lilly Endowment as part of its national Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders Initiative, bringing the total available funds to $280,000.
FBC Midland’s funds will go toward supporting senior pastors, while the matching funds will be open to all full-time pastors and ministers.
To be eligible, pastors and ministers must be serving at a Texas Baptists-affiliated church that has contributed to the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program within the last year. Pastors and ministers must have served in their current church for at least one year. Pastors who have received the grant previously are welcome to reapply.
Recipients will receive up to $500 in a one-time grant. The grant will be open to applicants on Jan. 3, 2023. Those who meet the eligibility requirements can find more grant information and apply here.
Wood said the church has always had a generous heart and celebrated the fact his congregation can look outwards toward blessing people around the state.
“It’s a generous place, and people have a heart of giving,” he said.
He encouraged other churches to consider how they can be a part of blessing pastors, churches or ministries across Texas.
“It’s not our money. The Lord loaned it to us, and it’s our job to give it back.”
Churches interested in blessing others this holiday season and beyond through the Convention’s current or new ministry opportunities are encouraged to contact Texas Baptists CFO/Treasurer Ward Hayes to learn more about the large-scale impact they can make.
Individuals interested in making a gift that will bless ministries for a lifetime and beyond are also welcome to contact the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation to learn more.