Church of God Ministries Receives a Third CARE Grant from Lilly Endowment


In an unprecedented decision, Lilly Endowment invited Church of God Ministries to apply for a Phase III CARE grant. This invitation affirmed the Endowment’s support of the annual evaluations and results of CARE Phase II in addressing economic challenges facing Church of God pastors.

In CARE Phase III, grant dollars and Church of God Ministries matching dollars will provide funding to broaden the impact of CARE for another three years, 2022 to 2024. Benefits of CARE I and II will continue to serve early-career pastors* and their congregations through pastor compensation coaching for congregational boards, financial management coaching for pastors; and cash assistance toward retirement and student loan accounts.

While continuing these current benefits, CARE Phase III will scale to address the negative financial impact of the pandemic on our clergy. Personal renewal funds will be available to qualifying pastors to address the negative impact of the pandemic on emotional and spiritual health.

Additionally, CARE III will continue the intentional effort of CARE II to engage pastors from the diverse networks of the Church of God. Each year’s cohort, comprised of male and female pastors, will continue to express the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Movement.

The CARE team will work through regional pastors and the leadership of our partners in ministry to discover and extend invitations to pastors who can benefit optimally from CARE III initiatives.

Lilly Endowment limits grant funding to pastors and congregations within the United States. Administrators from Eastern and Western Canada and Church of God Ministries are currently in dialogue regarding a Canadian version of CARE that addresses pastoral financial stresses and, at the same time, meets requirements within the Canadian legal system.

In the six years of CARE I and II, pastor financial stress has been lessened with over 450 pastors and nearly 100 congregational boards having received CARE coaching, and over $1.3 million has been distributed to pastors’ retirement and student loan accounts. Thanks be to God.

For more information, visit

CARE Team members: Handel Smith, Executive Director of US & Canada Strategy; Joseph Cookston, Director; Courtney Porter, Administrator; Nabil Safi, Congregational Coach; Bob Haymond (Servant Solutions), Pastor Coach

*Early-career pastors: less than 40 years old OR less than 10 years in credentialed ministry in the Church of God.

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