By Jessica Brodie
South Carolina United Methodist churches paid more than 91 percent in apportionments for 2021, exceeding not only pandemic levels but pre-pandemic levels and the annual conference’s goal for the year.
The South Carolina Conference Treasurer’s Office reports 91.67 percent for total 2021 giving, compared to last year’s 87.16 percent.
That percentage translates to nearly $15.8 million of the church’s $17.3 million total budget for the year for church ministries, missions and programming across the conference’s 12 districts in South Carolina.
“I want the churches to recognize that they have not just recovered from the effects of the pandemic, but they have also grown stronger,” said Beth Westbury, conference treasurer and director of administrative services.
She noted the apportionments collection rate in 2019 was 90 percent and in 2018 was 90.9 percent.
“I think we are on the path to greater success than we can imagine.”
South Carolina Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston called the strong performance on apportionments giving a “reflection of the generosity and faithful commitment of South Carolina United Methodists.”
“It is heartening to see how steadfast we remain in keeping our focus on ministry and mission,” Holston said. “As we take our next faithful steps together, this investment in the day-to-day work of making disciples of Jesus Christ confirms God’s plans to prosper and not harm us, to give us hope and a future.”
Apportionment monies pay everything the UMC is responsible for in South Carolina and throughout the global UMC connection, from clergy salaries, congregational development, campus ministries and United Methodist retirement homes in South Carolina to the global Africa University fund. Some churches held special events to raise extra funds to pay their apportionments, such as festivals or special collections.
Westbury also reported an increase in those churches paying 100 percent of their apportionments, with 781 of the 961 total churches paying their apportionments in entirety. That number is 58 more than 2020.
The Orangeburg District saw the highest percentage of apportionments paid, with a collection percentage of 98.03 percent. Walterboro District came in second place at 96.98 percent, and Columbia District was a close third at 96.89 percent.
Westbury said she is grateful for the churches for their response in faith, love and generosity, as well as for the bishop, district superintendents and lay leadership for their leadership.
“Together, this is an amazing team doing much more than we can do as separate units,” Westbury said.
Collection has already begun for 2022 apportionments; the budget for 2022 is $16.7 million. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration has been working hard to reduce apportionments in hopes that more churches will participate and reach 100 percent.
Apportionment Giving Through the Years
- 2021 91.67%
- 2020 87.16%
- 2019 90.0%
- 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%
2021 Apportionment Payments by District
- Orangeburg 98.03%
- Walterboro 96.98%
- Columbia 96.89%
- Spartanburg 95.38%
- Florence 95.17%
- Charleston 94.27%
- Greenwood 88.86%
- Greenville 88.29%
- Rock Hill 87.64%
- Anderson 85.88%
- Marion 85.80%
- Hartsville 84.80%
—South Carolina Conference Treasurer’s Office