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., then 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 $165 million in 2017. Today the United Methodist Foundations of Arkansas is one of the largest in the U.S. We manage 750 accounts, have a seven-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.
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.