Grant Guidelines and Eligibility


PURPOSE

Financial health and fiscal leadership skills are essential to a minister’s ability to lead effectively in their home and in the church. The Minister’s Financial Health Grant is a learning opportunity for church leaders and ministers to increase fiscal leadership and stewardship skills and equips ministers with the financial tools needed for long-term ministry. The grant is a matching grant of $2500. If the pastor/church raises up to $2500, Texas Baptists will match that amount dollar-for-dollar. The grant funds can be used by the minister to pay down student loan debt, medical debt, credit card debt, mortgage loans, or to build up an emergency fund, and/or increase retirement savings. The grant funds cannot be used for ministries in the church, church building repair, or other church-related expenses. Funds cannot be used for current educational expenses and/or tuition. Funds are to be used for the pastor’s personal financial needs as described above.


SOURCE

Texas Baptists are one of 38 grantees of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. This generous grant from the Lilly Endowment provided the seed money for the grant and program funds. A limited amount of matching funds may be available for churches and/or ministers that are unable to raise the match thanks to grants from the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions, the Texas Baptists Missions Foundation, Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, and the High Plains Missions Foundation. Only churches of 250 or less members are eligible for assistance with matching funds.


REQUIREMENTS

Ministers must agree to complete the following requirements within the one-year grant period:

  • Meet with an assigned financial counselor at least three times over a 3-month period
  • Attend in person or view a financial seminar online with a lay leader (not of kin and not a church staff member) and complete and submit accompanying worksheets
  • Raise matching funds (unless the pastor receives matching funds from Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions, the Texas Baptists Missions Foundation, Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, or the High Plains Missions Foundation)
  • Complete a final report


APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Ministers must complete and submit an online application
  • Once the application is submitted, our financial health team will review the application with the minister within 5 – 7 business days.
  • Once the application has been reviewed with the financial health team, the application will be submitted to the Financial Health Steering Committee for approval. Please note that identifying information, such as the ministers name and the churches name, are redacted for privacy.
  • After the Financial Health Steering Committee has reviewed the application, the minister will be contacted with the committee’s decision and next steps.


ELIGIBILITY/GUIDELINES

  • The minister’s church must be affiliated with and participating* with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. If the church ceases to affiliate with the BGCT, the amount granted, if not yet distributed, will be released for another pastor. If the funds have been distributed within the grant year, the funds must be returned to the BGCT immediately.
    *A participating church should have one year of affiliation and at least 6 months of contribution history to the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program.
  • Ministers cannot be currently employed or contracted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
  • Ministers must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Ministers must have served at their current church for at least one year.
  • First-time grant applicants will receive priority consideration.
  • More than one pastor/minister at a church can receive a grant.
  • If the pastor is a church planter in our Church Starting process, applications will also need approval from the Church Starting Director.
  • Because financial hardships can occur more than once, pastors may receive (2) Minister’s Financial Health Grants but not within the same calendar year.