By Jessica Brodie
Numbers are in, and for the fourth year running, South Carolina United Methodists have paid more than 90 percent in apportionments.
The South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church closed 2018 with 90.9 percent in apportionment giving of the church’s $17.7 million total budget for the year. That percentage translates to $16.1 million for church ministries, missions, programming and more across the 12 districts in South Carolina.
While the conference did not reach its 94 percent goal for the year, financial leaders applaud the generosity and enthusiasm displayed by the 953 UMCs in the state that paid some or all of their apportionments, said Beth Westbury, treasurer and director of administrative services.
Of the 977 total churches, 781 paid 100 percent of their apportionments and only 24 did not pay their apportionments, though Westbury said some of the 24 are churches that closed after Annual Conference 2017, so they still had a 2018 apportionment request.
“I want to thank our churches for their amazing generosity,” Westbury said. “They recognize that we can do more together than we can do alone. And I feel certain we will continue to work together and grow in our stewardship of God’s blessings.”
Westbury said the conference surpassed 90 percent collection rates for each of the past four years, “And that is better than we have done since 2002 when we last achieved 90 percent.”
South Carolina UMCs gave 92.3 percent in 2017, 92.0 percent in 2016 and 91.1 percent in 2015.
Collection has already begun for 2019 apportionments, and Westbury noted the 2019 goal remains at 94 percent.
Walterboro paid the highest percentage of apportionments at 97.51 percent, followed by Columbia at 94.51 percent, Spartanburg at 94.31 percent and Orangeburg at 94.02 percent.
Westbury said 104 churches had an increase in percentage paid for 2018 compared to 2017 and 117 churches had a decrease in the percentage paid for 2018 compared to 2017.
The fund for Camps and Retreats was the highest earner at 93.29 percent, and General Conference Administration was the lowest earner at 88.91 percent.
“While we did not achieve 100 percent for Africa University through apportionments, the Africa University golf tournament was able to make up the $5,158 shortage so that we will once again achieve 100 percent,” Westbury noted, thanking efforts of the Rev. John Culp and Ronald Friday to make the tournament successful.
She also lifted up the strong model exhibited by Two Rivers Cainhoy, a new church start in the Charleston District that contributed toward apportionments even though new church starts are not asked to pay apportionments.
For more on conference financials, visit www.umcsc.org/home/administrative-services.
Apportionment Giving Through the Years
- 2018 90.9%
- 2017 92.3%
- 2016 92.0%
- 2015 91.1%
- 2014 89.5%
- 2013 89.7%
- 2012 87.0%
- 2011 84.2%
- 2010 83.2%
- 2009 84.0%
- 2008 86.1%
- 2007 86.8%
- 2006 86.0%
- 2005 78.7%
- 2004 78.9%
- 2003 87.8%
- 2002 90.9%
2018 Apportionment Payments by District
- Walterboro 97.51%
- Columbia 94.51%
- Spartanburg 94.31%
- Orangeburg 94.02%
- Rock Hill 93.7%
- Greenwood 90.18%
- Charleston 90.07%
- Anderson 88.8%
- Greenville 88.03%
- Florence 87.4%
- Marion 87.36%
- Hartsville 85.91%
—South Carolina Conference Treasurer’s Office