Everence awarded more than $200,000 in 45 financial assistance grants in 2022 to assist pastors facing significant financial and debt burdens.
The grants, offered through the Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program, provide assistance to pastors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those serving small churches or congregations of color.
“The intersection between race and ethnicity, religion and money is complex and fraught with systemic disparities,” said Leonard Dow, Everence vice president of community and church engagement and Pastoral Financial Wellness Program manager. “The pandemic further brought these disparities out of the shadows, for individuals and churches alike.”
Of the financial assistance grants awarded in 2022, 64% went to pastors from Spanish-speaking congregations and 21% went to pastors of other non-white backgrounds. The grants were made possible, in part, by a third round of funding from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Everence was one of the initiative’s original grant recipients, receiving $1 million to establish the program in 2016 and a second $1 million to expand it in 2019.
Since the program began in 2016, Everence has awarded 372 financial assistance grants totaling nearly $2.09 million to help pastors address medical debt, credit card debt, educational debt or other financial concerns.
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