Every generation stands upon the shoulders of those who have gone before, and every generation becomes the shoulders upon which others will stand.
In 1964, the Brethren in Christ launched the BIC Pension Fund to help provide for its church leaders’ retirement needs. Having personally sacrificed to serve in locations around the world, these leaders often received inadequate compensation and minimal retirement planning.
The BIC Pension Fund, while never providing fully for retirement, became a significant part of their financial planning. Initially, the fund paid $2 per month for every year of service. By 2000, the defined benefit had risen to $9 per month for every year of service. The Pension Fund was endowed by contributions from congregations (for pastors) and BIC U.S. World Missions (for missionaries).
For many years, the BIC Pension Fund had sufficient funds to honor its promises. However, during the last 12 to 15 years, the economic recession and declining rate of return on investments—combined with the increasing life expectancy of those enrolled in the plan—created underfunding. The assets in the fund were not enough to honor the commitments made to support our church leaders.
By 2009, the underfunding reached $5.9 million. However, through sacrificial and generous giving from individuals, congregations, and regional conferences, along with reallocated funds from ministry operations dollars, we reduced the underfunding to an estimated $3.2 million (as of December 31, 2015).
While celebrating funds raised, we acknowledge that giving to the Pension Fund has come at the cost of other ministry priorities. The dollars reallocated for the BIC Pension Fund were dollars that might otherwise have been used for advancing the Church’s mission through evangelism, church multiplication, global ministry, and missions.
In continuing our commitments to both honoring the church workers who have gone before us and reaching those who still do not know, love, and follow Jesus, we have launched a special ministry campaign called Honor the Past: Build the Future.
This campaign seeks to address the BIC Pension Fund underfunding and raise funds for church multiplication efforts into the future.
Over a five-year period (2016 to 2021), the Honor the Past: Build the Future campaign seeks to raise a total of $5 million in two successive goals:
Honor the Past: $3.2 Million
We are committed to caring for those who have gone before us, who sacrificed during their faithful ministries. By raising $3.2 million for the BIC Pension Fund, we honor our commitment to the individuals who helped build the Church.
Build the Future: $1.8 Million
We desire to continue the work of reaching the unreached and making disciples. In our commitment to build the future, our second goal is to raise an additional $1.8 million for church multiplication efforts.
Donate now or pledge support over the course of this five-year campaign (2016 to 2021, encompassing six tax years). Pledges can be made by downloading, completing, and returning the campaign commitment card.
When donating, select “Honor the Past: Build the Future Campaign” in drop-down menu.