The United Methodist Foundation began in 1963 with a group
of Methodists who had a vision for the ongoing support of the church in
Arkansas. They wanted to create endowments that would fund the needs of
Methodist ministries in Arkansas forever.
Inspired by their initial work, Jim Argue,
Jr., UMFA President and CEO, joined the Foundation in 1981 when assets were
$100,000. He began in a borrowed office with donated tools, but steadily built
the assets of the Foundation through relationships with United Methodists who
wanted their support of the church to last beyond their lifetimes.
Generations of donors made the UMFA a
beneficiary of their planned and outright gifts, building the total assets to
$135 million in 2015. Today the United Methodist Foundations of Arkansas is one
of the largest in the U.S. We manage 750 accounts, have a six-person staff and
are supported by a network of consultants and advisors who assist us in the
areas of audit, communications, investments, legal affairs, and technology.
The Foundation makes grants in areas of
clergy and lay leadership, hunger, children’s ministries, seminary
scholarships, outdoor ministries and much more. We provided the funding for the
conference’s transformational Imagine Ministry planning effort and made a
$333,000 challenge commitment to the Imagine No Malaria campaign.
Throughout its history, UMFA has remained focused on the
vision of our charter members as we help United Methodists from throughout our
state create charitable endowments that will enhance United Methodist
ministries in the Arkansas Conference in perpetuity.