MINISTERIAL EXCELLENCE MATCHING GRANT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the grant for?

Lilly Endowment, Inc., has generously granted the seed money for the Ministerial Excellence Matching Grant Fund as a key part of their nationwide initiative to address financial challenges that impact pastor effectiveness. Research has shown that economic challenges can greatly impair a pastor’s ability to lead and serve their church. One way the grant aims to address these challenges is by making grants available directly to pastors.   

Am I eligible for the grant?

To be eligible for the grant, pastors must be currently serving in a church that has been affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas for at least one year. 

Do I have to be the pastor to be eligible for the grant?

At this time, grant funds are only available to the pastor of the church. 

What are the requirements for the Ministerial Excellence Matching Grant?

Grant funds are awarded on the 1-year anniversary of the initial grant application and/or after completion of the grant requirements including securing matching funds, attending a regional financial retreat with a member of your laity, meeting with a financial planner and submitting a final report. If you have immediate needs for grant funds, you can apply for an Emergency Ministerial Excellence Grant, which is available for those in need of expedited grant funds. 

How do I get matching funds? 

We encourage churches to support pastors by walking with them through their financial struggles and having conversations concerning compensation and exploring resources and tools the pastor has available to them. If possible, a church providing the matching funds to support a pastor demonstrates the churches dedication to the pastor’s well-being and future.  In some cases, Texas Baptists can help raise matching funds.

My grant application was rejected - can I reapply?

Because grant funds are limited, we cannot award grants to every applicant. If your application was rejected, you can reapply during the next grant cycle. In the meantime, you can look at the Resources tab (coming soon) on the Center for Ministerial Excellence website to begin working toward financial health. 

I was approved for a grant but am now leaving my church and lost matching funds, am I still eligible?

We understand that for various reasons, pastors leave their current church. We will review each case and make a determination as to the pastor's eligibility for the grant.

Can I apply for both the Emergency Grant and the Regular Grant? 

You can only apply for one grant per grant cycle. Only applicants with immediate needs should apply for the Emergency Grant. 

How do I apply?

You can complete the initial application by visiting http://texasbaptists.org/cmeapply or email Tammy Tijerina, Grant Specialist at tammy.tijerina@texasbaptists.org.