“It is our privilege to serve the Charis Fellowship,” said Ken Seyfert, president and CEO of the Foundation. “By providing affordable mortgage rates, we’ve helped ministries around North America reach their communities with the gospel.”
Sixty years ago, obtaining the funds to build a church was difficult. When a group wanted to construct
a new building or expand their facilities, banks were wary of lending to them – afraid that they might not see the money again.
Dr. L. L. Grubb and the other leaders in the Grace Brethren movement recognized the need for a ministry that would provide financing for churches and other ministry projects. The result was the Grace Breth- ren Investment Foundation (GBIF), an organization within the Charis Fellowship (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches) that has provided affordable financing for more than 250 congregations in the U.S. and in excess of $115 million in loans. In 2018, they set a new record in net operating income at $1,705,865.
Loans are made possible because investors from across the United States earn a respect- able interest, compounded monthly from day of deposit to day of withdrawal, and receive quarterly statements summarizing the activity in their investment accounts.
In addition, the GBIF sets the tone for generosity in the Fellowship as their board of directors approves goodwill contribu- tions to Charis Fellowship ministries. Nearly 20 years ago, the decision was made to contribute a significant percentage of
the yearly net operating income to benefit ministries within the Fellowship. Today, that annual amount approaches the major- ity of the operating income. Last year, more than $700,000 was given to a variety of organizations, helping with church plant- ing, Christian education, communications, youth ministry, and other activities that further Charis Fellowship efforts to expand the Kingdom.
It all began in 1955 with a church in Seattle, Wash., that was having an especially difficult time obtaining the funds to build. At national conference in Portland, Ore., that year, the concept of the investment foundation, a church extension fund that would help provide financing for churches, was approved. A dedicated member of the Grace Brethren Church in Dayton, Ohio, made the first investment of $40,000, and the ministry was on its way. The Seattle church ultimately was able to build with borrowed funds, and that seed money has grown to more than $100 million today.
The primary focus of GBIF is investing in churches. They have helped facilitate expan- sion at large churches like Grace Commu- nity Church in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, senior pastor), Grace Church of Akron, Ohio (Jeff Bogue, senior pastor), or Grace Fellowship, Pickerington, Ohio (Keith Minier, lead pastor). But their focus is not just on large churches. They have come alongside smaller congregations, like Brigh- ton Chapel (Rustin Krapfl, senior pastor) in Howe, Ind., where the GBIF assisted with a new building, or Grace Fellowship Church, Leamersville, Pa. (Mark Lingenfelter, senior pastor), where a new activity center was financed. They have also provided financing for projects at Camp Conquest, the retreat center operated by the Northern Atlantic District of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in Denver, Pa., and at Grace Col- lege and Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind.
“It is our privilege to serve the Charis Fel- lowship,” said Ken Seyfert, president and CEO of the Foundation. “By providing affordable mortgage rates, we’ve helped ministries around North America reach their communities with the gospel. God has enabled GBIF also to contribute millions of dollars to further His work in and through the Charis Fellowship,” he added.
To learn more about the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation, click here.