Financing the AMEC : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Several posts have been offered over the last three months outlining how the AMEC can shore up its financial health. A denomination with a reported membership of 3.5 million should definitely have a budget of at least $100 million dollars. As a professional economist I would be betraying my fellow members by not offering a contribution to this important issue. I would recommend the following plan of action. First, target one million AMEs who would be willing to contribute $185 [$1 for each year since the AMEC was formed in 1816]. Consider it a Connectional obligation, independent from our normal sacrificial offerings [thithes, pledges, offerings, etc.]. This would represent an amount raised of $185 million. Now, the problem is always one of secured collection. I recommend that the amount be collected thru either a one-time automatic check deduction or added to our individual phone bill. I am sure one million members are gainfully employed who have a checking account and use personal telecommunication services. Furthermore, I would recommend that the Mighty Million Members do this for 15 years paying $1 additional until the year of our Connectional bi-centennial in 2016. Think about it. A gradually increasing budget from $185 million to 200 million by the Bi-centennial. This is the easy part. The difficult part involves coming up with an incentive plan to get folks to sign up. Membership should have its privileges. If we have the potential to raise this amount of money it will greatly aid in fortifying our smaller churches, colleges and clergy. We do not have a hospital nor do any of our AME colleges have a law school. Our foreign missions can recieve the type of funding needed to effectively promulgate the Gospel. Our Bishops can be remunerated like corporate CEOs rather than paupers. This can remedy those defects. Let's get to work! I am not interested in getting credit for the ideas because this must be a COLLECTIVE endeavor. So what are the incentives we can use to get the program rolling? QED

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2001


That is a wonderful idea! I'll do it if you will.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001

I too think this is a wonderful idea! However, I have some questions: 1) do we really have 3 million plus members (that we can put our hand on); and 2) who/what would be the "holding" party of these funds, in other words who would hold the money, and who would authorize the spending of the money? Blessings Barbara Ransom

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001

Dear Mr. Dickens:

I think your "financial plan" is a good idea, and it would certainly "work" if 3 million AME's followed the plan. I only have one problem with this "financial plan": up to this point the AME money has been only going in one direction; the monies that are collected for the budget are not re-invested in the pastors (i.e.: guaranteed salaries) nor is the money that is currently collected invested in outreach. All of the money seems to be going in one direction and that is up the hierarchy. The "3 million" members are really tired of it at the current $8 million dollar budget. The funds are not being properly managed and allocated right now. I could not even imagine how it would be allocated at a much higher level. Until the "hierarchy" of the church can begin to reinvest the current funds back "down" to the masses and pastors, then not many are going to agree to this plan. Submitted humbly.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001

Great Idea Questions arise to the accurate numbers of our membership and their locations. However even if 1 million did we would move forward. I pray we will show more faith in God than we do our Church.

Blessings to you all

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

I would be interested in learning the membership of the AMEC as of the last General Conference. Maybe the Department of Statics & Finance might be able to help.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001


This is an excellent idea!!! If you get permission from the AMEC to implement this plan, I will be the first of the 1 million members of the AME church to write a check for $185. I was disappointed when I looked at the budget in the 2000-2004 Discipline. I don't know how an international organization can survive on such a paltry sum. I was also shocked that there were no national scholarships. I find that we are remiss in our obligation to our children if we are not providing scholarships. It was also disappointing to see that so little is given to our AME schools.

Every member of the AME church can send at least $185 a year to the national level so that our work can be increased. Think about it, some of us spend $300 to $600 a year on car insurance for peace of mind. Certainly, if a national fund was set up, we could send a check directly to that site for the uplift of our organization.


-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

We are always sending in money to the "national" level all of the time. The "national" level needs to do a better job of accounting for the current budget. As one poster stated, it is interesting how the leadership goes around and brags about the AME schools, yet on the General Budget form, Payne Seminary was only allocated $10 dollars from the churches in one midwestern district. Yet, the "Annual Conference Sustentation" cost $600 per church. I could not imagine what would happen if more funds were pumped up the chain. Until the current budget is properly invested and allocated, then I do not think this plan will work. Too much greed currently exists. I am sorry.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2001

May I make a suggestion? Bring your tithes and offerings to your local church and use it to minister to God's people in your area of the world. At the same time, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's; pay the budget and asking levied by the AME Church and do not concern yourself with those things which are beyond your control. When Jesus returns, he will separate the wheat from the tares and set all things right. In the meantime, we must work the work of Him that sent us while it is day.


Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2001

I am a chartered accountant and I definitly agree with your plan, however as I work with 'money' everyday I know that we need people with expertise to do the planning and managing. I will contribute my part as well.

I think that this money should however be manage and controlled by independent experts. If i may add, these money should be invested, and re-invested over a period of ie. 3-5 years, compounded montly. And the interests after the 5 years should be invested in the church for capital purposes and NOT for administrative purposes ie. Salaries etc. We need to accumalate our capital before we expense money on admin. The members fist need to see what has been done by the church. On the other hand the members who invested should have acces to financial records to ensure that only valid transactions occured.

We can make the AME church the strongest domination in the wold but as long as we think of expenses instead of capital investment we will stay on the 'ground' and will never be able to reach the top of the mountain. Love

-- Anonymous, June 27, 2002

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