Texas Baptists awarded $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment to assist pastors


DALLAS The Baptist General Convention of Texas has been awarded a $1 million implementation grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to participate in its National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

Through the grant, Texas Baptists will create a Center for Ministerial Excellence, which will conduct regional financial retreats for pastors and laity, award financial grants of up $5,000 to pastors facing economic challenges and recruit a statewide network of financial planners to help Texas Baptists pastors seeking financial advice.  

“As a pastor, I am well aware that financial struggles can impact a pastor’s family and their church,” said Steve Vernon, associate executive director of Texas Baptists. “The support the grant makes available to pastors will have far reaching benefits for our Texas Baptists family and encourage our pastors in their fulfillment of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.”

Lilly Endowment made a $50,000 planning grant to the Texas Baptists in early 2016 to conduct research and provide resources to help church leaders prepare an implementation grant for the initiative.

“From the research, we learned that our pastors are struggling most with low salary, no medical insurance and a lack of retirement savings,” Vernon said.

The purpose of the Lilly Endowment’s initiative is to support national and state church-related organizations in developing new programs or strengthening existing programs that reduce or alleviate key financial pressures that inhibit effective pastoral leadership and to improve the financial literacy and management skills of pastoral leaders.

We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for this partnership and entrustment in the stewardship of their funds. The grant will provide opportunities for us to encourage and serve our pastors and churches,” said Dr. Bill Tillman, director of Texas Baptists Center for Ministerial Excellence.

For more information, call (888) 244-9400.

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