By Jessica Brodie
A year after celebrating its best financial year in more than a decade, the conference is on track to do it again.
South Carolina United Methodist churches are nearly $400,000 ahead of where they were last year with year-end apportionments giving, and Conference Treasurer Beth Westbury thinks they can achieve 91 percent again—and even more.
“We are incredibly thankful for our churches and the way they stretch to increase their giving,” Westbury said. “These congregations continually strive for ‘a more excellent way,’ as Bishop Holston would say, for the South Carolina Conference. Last year, we reached a new level compared to recent years when we reached 91.1 percent in apportionment giving. I believe we can do even better this year.”
That 91.1 percent in 2015 was almost 2 percent higher than the 89.4 percent paid in 2014 and the first time the conference has achieved over the 90 percent mark since 2002. The 91.1 percent translates to $15.9 million paid to the conference last year of the $17.44 million total budget and $392,809 more for ministry than the conference received from churches in 2014.
As of Sept. 30, the treasurer’s office said the conference has collected $391,292 more than they had this time last year: 57.4 percent ($10.06 million) this year compared to 55.6 percent ($9.7 million) last year.
As of Sept. 30, the Walterboro District is leading in the percentage collected, at 68.1 percent, while the Columbia District is leading in the dollar amount collected, at $1.7 million.
To date for 2016, 184 churches have paid 100 percent of their apportionments compared to 168 this time in 2015, Westbury said. As well, 123 churches have increased the percentage paid for 2016 compared to 2015.
Also, churches gave an additional $1.15 million in special giving as of Sept. 30 (beyond apportionment giving) compared to $861,202 last year; these funds are for non-apportioned missions such as Imagine No Malaria, Epworth Children’s Home and more.
Mitch Houston, chair of the conference Council on Finance and Administration, applauded the performance to-date.
“CF&A thanks the churches of South Carolina for their continued generous and spiritual commitment to the mission of the church,” Houston said. “We also thank Bishop Jonathan Holston for his continued leadership in the area of stewardship.”
2016 apportionments are due to the treasurer’s office no later than 4 p.m. Jan. 10, 2017, to be credited toward 2016. For those churches making payment electronically through VANCO, the payment must be initiated one day earlier: by 4 p.m. Jan. 9, 2017. It is important to indicate which year’s apportionment you are paying, Westbury said, as the conference gets a large volume of payments in early January, and some may be for 2016 and some may be for 2017.
For month-by-month apportionments performance by your district, visit www.umcsc.org/home/administrative-services or call 803-786-9486.
Apportionment Giving Through the Years
- 2016 TBD
- 2015 91.1%
- 2014 89.45%
- 2013 89.72%
- 2012 87%
- 2011 84.2%
- 2010 83.2%
- 2009 84%
- 2008 86.1%
- 2007 86.8%
- 2006 86%
- 2005 78.7%
- 2004 78.9%
- 2003 87.8%
- 2002 90.90%
- 2016 Apportionment Payments by District as of Sept. 30
- Walterboro 68.1%
- Columbia 61.38%
- Rock Hill 61.25%
- Greenville 61.22%
- Greenwood 58.2%
- Marion 57.5%
- Spartanburg 55.1%
- Florence 54.64%
- Charleston 53.91%
- Orangeburg 53.44%
- Hartsville 51.95%
- Anderson 50.87%
—South Carolina Conference Treasurer’s Office