By Jessica Brodie
LAKE CITY—One United Methodist church in the Florence District has received thousands of dollars in grant funds to help renovate its sanctuary.
Mount Beulah UMC received $4,108 from the Renfro Trust Fund of UMC Global Ministries, Southeastern Jurisdiction, announced Cynthia B. Williams, conference secretary of Global Ministries.
Income from the Renfro Fund is used for establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas within the Southeastern Jurisdiction that are experiencing unusual and challenging circumstances, and for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources. Projects eligible for grant funds can involve new or existing church buildings only. The maximum amount is $5,000.
Funds are awarded as grants, not loans, and the grants can be made to a church for the same project only once.
The Rev. Benjamin Graham, Mount Beulah’s pastor, said he and his congregation are incredibly thankful for the support they have received. Graham said the money will help them in the renovation of the sanctuary, particularly with issues in the church flooring. Mount Beulah’s building is 130 years old, Graham said, and the whole floor is having to be replaced.
“Part of it is age, and also the air and heat unit was built close to the church foundation, and through the years, moisture has gotten into the old wooden planks under the church and deteriorated,” Graham said. “Both sides started to sink.”
The grant funds will help the church put new pillars under the church building to lift the floor. They will also replace the carpeting and make other needed updates.
Graham said the work should be done within the month. “We are so grateful,” he said.
Mount Beulah has about 160 members and averages 75-80 in worship each week.
“This is the third year in a row that South Carolina churches have received a Renfro grant,” Williams said.
Churches interested in applying for a Renfro grant should contact their conference office to obtain the application. The application path begins with the district superintendent, conference and then jurisdiction. Applications are due to the conference by Aug. 1 to ensure they are certified and ranked by the Sept. 1 deadline.