Dear Huntsville First United Methodist Church Members,
What a year we have had! I am sure that we will never forget 2020. Even as we dealt with the sad realities of a pandemic, the work of the church has been ongoing. We were not able to worship and fellowship together as we have in the past, but we learned new ways and, for many of us, much more about using technology to continue to worship and to fulfill our role as God’s beloved children. Because we have not been physically together as we were in the past, we need to be sure that you know the financial status of Huntsville FUMC. Although we cannot post full financial reports online because of security reasons, church members are always welcome to call and/or email church staff to access all financial reports.
What follows is a very basic update of our financial status but does not include Faith Promise, which is handled separately and on a different time schedule. Do not hesitate to call the church office, 256-539-5738, to schedule an appointment (still necessary in this time of pandemic) to come into the office and see print versions, or you may email our Financial Administrator, Cindy Holt, firstname.lastname@example.org, for digital copies.
· Completed by Tucker & Smith, the audit confirmed our financial status.
· Because of failure to reconcile our accounts, we had an over-stated cash balance in the first half of 2020.
· The current balances are correct.
· The auditors found no evidence of malfeasance, only poor accounting practices. The staff member at fault resigned in July 2020.
· Copies of the audit are available on request.
· Ministry Offerings and Revenue were at the second highest giving level in church history. Thank you for your faithful stewardship!
· We did not dip into our cash reserves, but we did apply for and we received PPP money and a state grant because of the pandemic. We must keep the PPP money recorded as a loan in our accounting ledger until it is forgiven, as we expect it to be.
· Even without the state grant, we met our basic expenses with a net of $4,441.95 in the black.
· Although the faithful stewardship during this year of pandemic allowed us to meet our expenses, we did not meet our 2020 budget which was finalized before the pandemic and contained a number of stretch goals for our congregation.
· Although the pandemic did cause stepping back in certain areas, such as hiring replacement staff, it caused unexpected expenditures in other areas, particularly the need for tech equipment and upgrades in our ability to stream virtual services.
· Copies of the December 2020 financial report are available on request.
· Overall: $2,697,406
· Based on actual giving in 2020 and pledges made for 2021 (only 75% of what was pledged for 2020)
· Smaller than the 2020 budget, which was $3,036,579
· Recommended by the Finance Committee
· Approved by a 100% vote of the Church Leadership Team on January 25, 2021
· Drafts of the 2021 budget are available, but units are still allocating specific funds in their areas
· Although we expect the PPP money to be forgiven, we must record it as a loan in our accounting ledger until it is officially forgiven.
· Because of a substantial gift, the loan principal from ServisFirst Bank has been reduced.
· Because a subcommittee from Finance discovered that the payments for scholarships have been made from the general ministry budget instead of the designated Joint Scholarship Fund and because those funds exceed the building fund loan from the Joint Scholarship Fund, the Finance Committee and the Church Leadership Team voted to forgive the $338,033.01 loan to ourselves from the Joint Scholarship Fund.
· We continue to pay back our loan to ourselves from the Franklin Permanent Endowment Fund.
· Copies of loan documents are available on request.
What does this mean for 2021?
· We are called to influence our community to know Christ. The work of the church is on-going.
· We continue to fulfill our mission and demonstrate our love for God by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.
· With $3,409,189.51 in cash-on-hand, 2/3 is in designated funds that can be used only for the specific purpose for which it was given; the other 1/3 of cash-on-hand is unfettered.
· The total outstanding loan balance is $1,940,226.24, plus the PPP money ($257,900), which must be recorded as a loan until it is officially forgiven.
· We do have cash reserves that, if necessary, we can use as we did in the national financial crisis of 2008-2009.
· Thanks to our faithful congregation, our financial stewardship continues to support our mission.
This letter may not contain details that you might want to know. We invite you to access any financial report; they are all open to church members but for security reasons are not shared on our website. To obtain more information and full reports, contact the church office 256-539-5738 to access print copies, or email email@example.com for emailed digital copies.
In His Service,
Johnnie Hargrove, Church Leadership Team (CLT) Chair firstname.lastname@example.org, 256-527-4097