Church Finance

The Qualifications for the Church Treasurer – “Dr. No”?

Read the series.

I mentioned Gary Blessman in the first article in this series. Gary is the Vice President of Institutional Finances1 at Central Seminary and the Business Administrator2 at Fourth Baptist Church and Christian Schools.

Jim Peet is no Gary Blessman—I will never be a Gary Blessman! But my church is not Fourth Baptist Church, and we don’t have a seminary. An organization like Fourth Baptist Church and Central Seminary needs a professional treasurer—ideally someone who is a C.P.A. and has an accounting degree. Gary graduated from the University of Southern Colorado with a degree in accounting, and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters in Church Administration. He passed his C.P.A. exam in 1987. He was the bursar at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the controller at Mount Senario College before joining the staff at Fourth Baptist Church. He has the requisite education, and experience for his ministry.

The treasurer of a large church deals with issues “beyond my paygrade”3 such as:

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The Church Treasurer – What Are the Duties?

Read Part 1.

I’m somewhat familiar with “where Minnesota golf was born,“ because the Minnesota Mayflower Society where I serve as a board member has our annual Thanksgiving banquet at the storied Town and Country Club in Saint Paul.

As the first “country club” in these parts, Town & Country Club was more of a social organization inspired by the clubs in Saint Paul that were formed as a nucleus of the annual Winter Carnival. A residence on Lake Como was the first clubhouse in 1887. The Club moved to its present home at the Marshall Avenue Bridge on the Mississippi River in 1890. Today, this “country club” is in the heart of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, but in 1890, it was in the boondocks of Saint Paul.

The original Town & Country Club, a Saint Paul landmark, was designed by state capitol architect, Cass Gilbert, and built in the early 1890’s for $25,000.

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James MacDonald used thousands from church funds on vintage car gifted to Wheaton prof Ed Stetzer

"Citing a tip published by Dee Parsons at The Wartburg Watch, independent journalist Julie Roys, confirmed in a report Tuesday that MacDonald gifted Stetzer a just under $13,000 1971 VW Beetle last April. Stetzer said he had no idea MacDonald used money from church donations to pay for the gift." - Christian Post

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The Ministry of Church Treasurer

Through an unusual set of circumstances, I am now the treasurer of a church that I was barely acquainted with one year ago.

A year ago, I was 2 months past 39 radiation treatments for cancer and my cancer doctor gave me the news that the regimen was apparently successful. As an aside, doctors never commit to the word “cured.” But so far so good! My pastor commented to me, “I guess God is not finished with you yet!”

My wife and I began to pray, what would God have me to do with my retirement time?

In June, I became aware that a small church in an exurb about 25 miles NW of us needed a treasurer. Their treasure had resigned, and no one had stepped up to volunteer. I contacted the pastor and indicated that I would be interested in the position. He was just about to go on family vacation followed by a mission’s trip to Kenya, so the meeting was deferred for a month.

On July 3rd I had follow-on blood work and again received the “all clear.”

Kathee and I prayed about this and contemplated whether the Lord was in this or not. Some questions and considerations were that we were in a very good church just several miles from our house. The new church would mean quite a bit of driving and a commitment to be very involved no matter how harsh the weather. In Minnesota the weather is a real factor.

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Seventh Circuit rules Clergy Housing Allowance is constitutional, despite challenge by Freedom from Religion Foundation.

"For the second time, a popular tax break for pastors has been judged permissible under the US Constitution, despite efforts by an atheist legal group to prove otherwise." - Christianity Today

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