Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Members keep churches in business

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SOME CHURCHES ARE spending between $0.7 million and in excess of $2 million annually and their budgets are funded mainly by the free will gifts of their members and other donors.
Investigations over the last two weeks revealed that churches within the Anglican, Methodist and Pentecostal denominations paid their bills, staffed and funded outreach programmes through offerings and tithes.
“The church gets its funding primarily by giving. Each parish or congregation has a programme that would encourage the members to support the ministry there. At services there would be a collection and we support ourselves by voluntary giving in the parishes,” said Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese John Holder.
The annual budget of the Anglican diocese, he disclosed, was over $2 million, but he could not say what level of spending was undertaken in each of the church’s 42 parishes.
In the Methodist Church, head of the South Caribbean District Reverend Cuthbert Edwards said:”All of our funding comes from the members of the church. We only get external funding for specific projects, like the construction of a building, and even for those we would have special covenants with members.”
The yearly administrative budget of its three Methodist circuits was more than $1 million, while the monthly amount for the JamesStreet/Speightstown circuit alone was $50 000 to $60 000, Edwards pointed out.
Social programmes in the Methodist Church were, however, financed separately out of the offering of the people.
Meanwhile, senior pastor of Abundant Life Assembly, Ivan Broomes, noted: “We follow the Biblical mandate; we believe in tithing. A tithe is a tenth of a person’s income.
“We believe that life is a stewardship, that God has blessed us with life, and all that we have belongs to God. And in Scripture we are told to bring a tenth of our income to the house of God to take care of God’s house and advance His Kingdom.”
Abundant Life Assembly’s budget was put at approximately $1.5 million per annum with its monthly bill for maintenance of its buildings, paying staff and maintaining the grounds being “well over” $120 000 to $130 000.
The Salvation Army’s Major Jonas said the Christian organisation’s main source of funding came from members of each of its church corps who helped to fund its $25 000 to $30 000 monthly employee bill. And the Army’s public mid-year and Christmas appeals, which raise about $120 000 and $300 000 respectively, go towards the Army’s social programmes.
New Dimensions Ministries’ Apostle Stephen Holford quoted that church’s yearly expenses at around $700 000, paid through tithes and offerings.
People’s Cathedral was the only church that declined to divulge its budgetary expenses. Its chief executive officer, Peter Williams, noted: “We raise funds strictly through the offerings of the congregation; we don’t go outside of that for funds . . . . It is quite significant, actually, to run and maintain [the church].

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