Western NC and North Carolina Conferences Receive Duke Endowment Grant Exceeding $10 million
May 16, 2023
By: Aimee Yeager, WNCC Director of Communications, & Derek Leek, NCC Director of Communications
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2023
North Carolina and Western NC Conferences Receive a Five-Year Duke Endowment Grant Exceeding $10 Million
GARNER and HUNTERSVILLE, NC -- The North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of The United Methodist Church (UMC) are thrilled to announce that they have each received a generous grant from The Duke Endowment to support the creation of new United Methodist faith communities and the strengthening of existing congregations within the UMC conferences. Over five years, these grants for $5.25 million each will provide vital resources to help the conferences address the challenges posed by recent disaffiliations and continue to spread the message of Jesus’ love and hope throughout the state of North Carolina.
The Duke Endowment grants will fund a range of initiatives, including resources for training and equipping pastors and lay leaders, developing innovative ministry programs, and embracing forward thinking as the conferences refocus and regear for this season of ministry. The grant will also provide the conferences a strategic opportunity to better understand the needs and opportunities for new faith communities and congregational revitalization in this post-disaffiliation environment.
“The Duke Endowment made this $10.5 million investment in the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences to affirm our commitment to The United Methodist Church and its very bright future,” said Rev. Robb Webb, director of Rural Church for The Duke Endowment and ordained deacon in the Western North Carolina Conference. “We believe in the strength of the connection and have been privileged to witness the fruitful ministries it has produced throughout our state – ministries that have nurtured and sustained congregations and communities for generations. We look forward to continued work with the clergy and congregations of the North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of The United Methodist Church and know that our ministry together will yield much fruit.”
"We are deeply grateful to The Duke Endowment for their support and investment in the mission of the North Carolina Conference," said Bishop Connie Mitchell Shelton. "This grant will allow us to join God’s mission through a United Methodist presence across North Carolina. We are excited to see how God will use these resources to strengthen our communities and bear witness to God’s kingdom."
The North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences are committed to creating and strengthening welcoming and vibrant churches where people of all backgrounds can encounter the love of God and grow as disciples of Jesus. With the support of The Duke Endowment, the conferences will be better equipped to fulfill this mission and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Bishop Ken Carter affirmed, “In a season of disruption and disaffiliation, there are at the same time strong signs of connection. We are profoundly grateful to The Duke Endowment for this significant grant to strengthen our capacity to make disciples and transform communities. In the spirit of the circuit riders, we will not abandon any of our communities, and with the help of God, we are excited about all that is ahead!”
Watch an announcement video with Bishops Ken Carter and Connie Mitchell Shelton.
For more information about the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church and its ministry initiatives, visit nccumc.org.
For more information about the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church and its ministry initiatives, visit wnccumc.org.
Director of Communications
North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church
Phone: (919) 275-2436
Director of Communications
Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church
Phone: (704) 992-7974
Download a copy of the press release here.