PORTLAND, Ore.—One South Carolina United Methodist headed to General Conference just to help legislation he proposed get approved by its legislative committee.
John Redmond, member of Buncombe Street United Methodist Church, Greenville, is also the president of the United Methodist Development Fund, which has been a part of the General Board of Global Ministries since the 1950s.
With the general treasurer of GBGM, Redmond proposed legislation this year that would make the United Methodist Development Fund a freestanding entity—and hence increase their ability to partner with groups and get larger amounts of money to help churches.
The Global Ministries committee moved to adopt the legislation, Petition 60588, Administration of United Methodist Development Fund, Para. 1313.1f, on May 13.
The following week, it was adopted by the full body (758 to 15).
By allowing the UMDF to be freestanding, “What it does is free up the United Methodist Development Fund to seek better ways to serve local churches,” Redmond said, noting the group makes first mortgages to United Methodist institutions such as new church starts, church roof repairs, camp ministries looking to build, etc. In the past, they haven’t been able to help very large projects, such as the recent Mount Horeb UMC expansion. Now that the body has passed the legislation, he said, “We can partner (on projects like these) and do big deals.”
The United Methodist Development Fund does not get church funding, nor is there a special offering for the fund. It’s “strictly business,” Redmond said.