Renfro Trust Grant

The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Applications will only be accepted when submitted through the Conference Secretary for Global Ministries of the Conference in which you are located.

Guidelines must be followed completely for applications to be considered.

Guidelines for the Renfro Trust Fund

1. Purpose and Eligibility:

  • Under provisions of the Renfro Trust, the income from the Fund is to be used for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas of the United States within the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The term “rural areas” shall be interpreted to mean towns of less than 10,000, villages, and open country.
  • Situations described as unusual and challenging and for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources shall be considered as eligible for grants from the Renfro Trust Fund.
  • Grants will be considered for projects involving new or existing church buildings only, not for parsonages. Repairs required to maintain the structural integrity or soundness of the church building may be included as part of a request. Major equipment directly related to the overall project may be included in a request. Grants will not be awarded for general maintenance on a church building or equipment. Grants for debt reduction will not be considered.
  • The maximum amount for each grant shall be $5,000.00. Funds are awarded as grants, not as loans.
  • New applications need to be submitted each year. Grants will be made to a church for the same project only one time.

2. Application process:

  • Local churches should contact their conference office to obtain the Renfro Grant Application, Guidelines, and information about who in their conference to send their completed application to.
  • All questions and data must be completed in full on the application, including signatures. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Give a good, compelling narrative description of what is to be accomplished by the project. Pictures, drawings, estimates, and similar attachments are not necessary.
  • Return the completed application to the conference CSGM or DCM by August 1 to ensure that all conference applications are certified and ranked by the appropriate conference committee related to global ministries or missions prior to the September 1 deadline to the SEJ Grant Selection Committee.
  • Each conference is expected to verify completeness, certify, rank, and sign applications from their conference and then submit applications as a package to the SEJ at the address below to be received no later than September 1 each calendar year. Conferences are encouraged to submit only their top three (3) applications. Conferences should use the same eligibility criteria listed above.
  • All signatures and application information are required for an application to be considered complete.

3. Award process:

  • Applications will be considered based on need. Recommendations for grant awards will be considered by a committee consisting of the SEJ Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries.
  • Grants will be approved by the SEJ Conference Secretary of Global Ministries association at its fall meeting each year. All applicants, their District Superintendent, Director of Connectional Ministries, and Conference Secretary of Global Ministries/Missions (CSGM) will be notified after the awards have been approved.
  • Award checks will be sent to the CSGM or related position in care of the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries to be forwarded to the local church.

4. Grant Recipient reporting:

Each local church receiving a Renfro Grant will be expected to submit a one-page report no later than September 1 of the following year to the SEJ address below. The report will:

  1. share (in narrative form) how the grant was used and its impact on the life of the church and its outreach programs; and
  2. provide a simple financial statement about how the funds were dispersed and the current balance, if any.

For more information or questions, contact Director of Connectional Ministries Rev. Dr. Adlene Kufarimai at 205-226-7954.

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