History Leaves of the Methodist Tree – January 2020

History Leaves of the Methodist Tree
Compiled by Johnny Cordell

January 2020

     This article begins a new year in which one of the mundane duties of the church is the implementation of an operating budget formulated by the budget committee and approved by the administrative board.  The reason for a foray into church finances is that recently I came across a 1956 church bulletin which included the operating budget for the following year.  In 1956 Chapel Hill and Welch Chapel Churches were on a circuit and shared a preacher who at that time was Jacob (Jake) Ramsey.  The budget was adopted by a Joint Official Board for 1957.  I thought it would be interesting to compare this budget to our 2020 budget 63 years apart.  There is no way to exactly compare a joint Welch Chapel/Chapel Hill budget to a Chapel Hill UMC budget of today, but nevertheless it can be an eye-opener.  The following is an excerpt from the 1956 bulletin:

 

Welch’s Chapel           

      Chapel Church 

Pastor’s Salary                                                                                                 

    $1,550.00 

          $1,550.00

Ministerial Support

          387.00

               387.00

World Service                                                                   

         150.00                                           

               150.00

General Administration Fund                                          

           15.00                                              

                 15.00

School of Theology                                                               

             7.50                                               

                   7.50

District Fund                                                                        

           31.00                                             

                 31.00

University of Chattanooga Student Center                   

           31.00                                              

                 31.00

Minimum Salary                                                                   

             3.87                                                

                   3.87

Pastor’s Pension                                                                      

              -0-                                                     

                 31.80

 

    $2,229.62                                      

          $2,261.42

The following is a summary of the 2020 budget for Chapel Hill United Methodist Church:

                                                                $208,269.00 (operating budget)

Budget has five (5) main categories: (1) General Church with twenty eight (28) sub-categories, (2) Music Ministry with two (2) sub-categories, (3) Pastoral Expense with eight (8) sub-categories, (4) Conference Fair Share with three (3) sub-categories, and (5) District Askings with three (3) sub-categories.  The Sunday School has a separate budget of $10,000 which is not part of the church budget, and the Church maintains a building fund account.  The Historical Church also has a separate account for maintenance of the building.  The church trustees also maintain a separate cemetery budget managed by Paul Powell.

     It is interesting to note that the church attendance since 1956 has probably increased by approximately a multiplier of 2 while the operating budget has increased by a multiplier of 94.

Last month’s question: What Chapel Hill Minister had an eccentric habit concerning two-dollar bills?  Bob Powers (1985-89) made all of his cash transactions in two-dollar bills.  He would initial each bill and keep track of how many times it came back into his possession.

Next month’s question:  Why was the University of Chattanooga Student Center a line item in the 1957 church budget?