With an $875,000 loan approval, Disciples Church Extension Fund helped Heart of the Rockies Christian Church in Fort Collins, Colo., begin a ministry project that today impacts the lives of hundreds of families. By today’s standards, that size of loan is increasingly common.

But a handful of church leaders in 1883 who first envisioned a building fund would be astonished. Their first loan, to help a small Kansas church build a house of worship, was just $500.

Rev. Melissa St. Clair is grateful those early church leaders planted the seeds for the financial ministry 140 years ago. With help from Disciples Church Extension Fund, her congregation is carrying on a tradition of investing in communities with its ongoing project.

“In partnership with Disciples Church Extension Fund, we were able to open this space up to a partnership that is bigger than what we (HRCC) can do ourselves,” says Rev. St. Clair, Heart of the Rockies Christian Church senior minister. “And it’s going to be so much better because of more partnerships within our community.”

How does the investment/lending cycle work today? Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) partners with individuals and organizations who invest with DCEF. They receive good rates on their investment notes. Faith communities then borrow at affordable rates through DCEF to fund building needs and other qualified projects.

While it has done business under various names and its services continue to evolve to meet the challenges of a changing landscape for ministry, Disciples Church Extension Fund continues 140 years later, with loan approval totals since 1883 topping $1 billion.

“Today, Disciples Church Extension Fund’s vision is to be the catalyst for change for the renewal and rebirth of our congregations,” said Belinda R. King, President/CEO. “We are here to help our congregations thrive, even when they have limited resources.

“Helping congregations thrive is what this ministry has always done, of course,” she adds. “But our context for ministry requires us to adapt to a new set of needs. These days, Disciples Church Extension Fund is as likely to get a call about how to sell a church facility as it is for guidance on how to build a new one.

“Even the way we do New Church Ministry is changing. We are reframing our colonizing models into movement models for growth.”

Help celebrate 140 years by participating in this life-giving ministry. Whether a church needs a loan, has funds to invest, or can donate to support ministries that may have trouble qualifying for a loan, partnering with Disciples Church Extension Fund helps extend the witness of Disciples of Christ “from our doorsteps to the ends of the Earth.”

Gifts to New Ways into the World, DCEF’s $4.5 million endowment campaign, support building, capital, and ministry services, the building disaster response service, and New Church Ministry.

Does your church long to be more faithful, effective, and innovative in response to God’s call in a changing world? DCEF can help.