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Development and Organization of the NUMF
The Foundation was incorporated in 1965 as the Nebraska Methodist Foundation by action of the 1965 Annual Conference session, which is the representative body governing the relationships among the over 400 local United Methodist Churches in Nebraska. The Foundation’s name was changed to the Nebraska United Methodist Foundation following the merger in 1968 of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The name change and structural modifications have been filed with the Secretary of State of Nebraska in 1977, 1985, 1991, 1998, and 2007.
In 1958, the Extension Foundation was created to encourage the building of new congregations and to provide assistance toother congregations with special needs.
The Nebraska Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church made the merger of the Nebraska United Methodist Foundationand the Nebraska United Methodist Extension Foundation official at its June 1998 meeting. The merger of the two Foundations into one body had been recommended by each Foundation’s Board of Directors. The merger was sought to allow for more efficient and effective Foundation operations.
Staffing History of the NUMF
Preceded by the work of Rev. Harold Bryant (and perhaps others) in encouraging estate gifts for the benefit of Conferenceministries, the Foundation grew out of a General Conference provision in 1964 stating that the Board of Lay Activities should have a Wills and Bequests Program. Amendments to the Coordinating Council Constitution in the 1966 Journal provided for a Department of Business Management and the option for a Director of Field Service whose support was to come from several agencies. Norman Kauble was appointed in June and served in this role with a local church stewardship education focus until 1968 when the position was left vacant for ten years.
By 1973, the Board of Discipleship was asking the Executive Director of Ministries to give major time to promoting a long-range stewardship program during 1974 and 1975. The 1975 Journal lists a stewardship objective requesting special emphasis at the 1976 Annual Conference. The Board of Discipleship pursued this interest further through 1977. In 1978, a provision was made for funding a Director of Stewardship and Estate Planning through several avenues, and Fred Roberts was appointed. Fred Roberts preached extensively and conducted fund raising events. He retired in 1983 and was followed by Rev. Cecil Lackore who served until resigning to move to the Desert Southwest Conference in November 1989. The office of Executive Director was vacant until the June Annual Conference in 1990 when Rev. Fred E. Loder was appointed. Fred Loder serveduntil his retirement in 1997. James W. Heller began his tenure in July 1997 and semi-retired in 2011. Anita B. Crisp began in the Executive Director position in January 2011 and continues in the position today.