The Regular Baptist Builders Club board of administrators voted to award $55,000 in grants and $25,000 in loans to six churches during its Nov. 15 meeting. Director Clare Jewell says this is likely the highest number of churches requesting grants at one time.
Four of the churches applied for Start Up funding for church plants, and two churches applied for Build Up grants to improve their facilities.
Faith Baptist Church, Winfield, Illinois, will receive a $15,000 Build Up grant plus a $5,000 loan to replace its audiovisual equipment. Berean Baptist Church, Springfield, Illinois, will receive a $20,000 loan for carpet, paint, lighting, landscaping, and classroom monitors.
Four churches will receive first-year $10,000 Start Up grants. These churches are Shiloh Baptist, Bowie, Maryland; Restored Church, Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Soteria Baptist, Phoenix, Arizona; and Bethany Baptist, Salem, Oregon.
In other business, the board approved a final version of a leadership residency program. The Timothy Project is designed as a partnership with local churches in order to reproduce leaders who will plant and revitalize churches. Regular Baptist Builders Club is committed to help fund this program. Application details will be available at BaptistBuildersClub.org and rbChurchPlanting.org in January 2018.
The board also approved a proposal to restructure funding for Start Up assistance. Previously, church plants could apply for a grant of $10,000 per year for up to three years ($30,000 total). Under the new system, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018, church plants may apply for $5,000 per year for up to three years as a grant, and another $5,000 per year (for up to three years) as a revolving, no-interest loan. Payback begins on the launch date for the new church at a rate equivalent to 5 percent of the new church’s general fund income each quarter. According to Director Clare Jewell, this new policy will allow the GARBC to be a catalyst for a greater number of church plants while encouraging new churches to budget a percentage of income for future church planting. “It helps ingrain a reproduction mind-set into the DNA of the church from the very beginning.”
In addition, the board approved a concept for helping churches that need revitalization. The basic idea is to allow churches to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to work with preapproved church revitalization consultants. Approved consultants will be vetted in advance, and each church will be able to select the consultant who best fits the church’s needs and culture. Clare Jewell will be working with churches and consultants to finalize details of the plan for approval in May 2018.