Foundation

of the Great Lakes Conference Churches of God, General Conference

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Our History

The Foundation of the Great Lakes Conference of the Churches of God was created.

During Fall 1995 and into 1996 the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God, which owned Winebrenner Village, began to explore with the Board of Trustees of Winebrenner Village ways to expand the facilities for more effective service and healthier financial stability for the Village. At the same time government regulations were becoming increasingly cumbersome, requiring more attention than the Ohio Conference believed it could contribute. The Winebrenner Village Board of Trustees consisted of both Ohio Conference representatives and community trustees who were not members of the Churches of God. The Board of Trustees of Winebrenner Village was approached by Blanchard Valley Health Association (BVHA) to explore ways to serve the community in a more cooperative or partnership ministry.

In February 1996 the Executive Board of the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God appointed a task force to study this proposed joint venture between Winebrenner Village and BVHA. Members of the task force included Dr. C. Darrell Prichard, Ohio Conference Administrator, Pastor Larry White, President of the Ohio Conference, Pastor Richard Van Horn, Vice President of the Ohio Conference and two other members. This group, along with the Trustees of Winebrenner, met with representatives of BVHA. Meetings and discussion proceded for approximately one year. In February 1997 the Task Force and Winebrenner trustees drafted several options for the Conference and Winebrenner Village to search for another hospital interested in purchasing Winebrenner Village or, alternatively, search for a joint venture partner other than BVHA. In March 1997 the Executive Board of the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God received a letter from BVHA indicating their interest in purchasing Winebrenner Village. By the following month the Executive Board of the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God voted unanimously to sell Winebrenner Village to Blanchard Valley, contingent on approval of the Ohio Conference in session in June 1997. The purchase price was $6,553,099.07; BVHA would assume existing debt and establish a Chaplaincy Program as part of the BVHA health care system. At that same April 1997 meeting, the Executive Board took action to establish The Foundation of the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God to receive funds from the sale of Winebrenner Village. On June 13, 1997 the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God in session voted favorably on the Executive Board's recommendation to sell Winebrenner Village to Blanchard Valley Health Association and to establish The Foundation of the Ohio Conference to receive and manage the proceeds of the sale.

In May 1998 the Officers of The Foundation were introduced to the Executive Board by the President of Ohio Conference Pastor Larry White. The members of The Foundation Board of Trustees were, Mr. Collin J. Bryan of Celina, Ohio, Mrs. Martha Cunningham of Findlay, Ohio, Dr. C. Darrell Prichard, Administrator of the Ohio Conference, Findlay, Ohio, Mr. Robert E. Stephenson of Findlay, OH, Pastor Richard R VanHorn, Pastor of Celina First Church of God, Celina, OH, Pastor Larry White of College First Church of God, Findlay, OH and Dr. Richard E. Wilkin, Retired Pastor/Administrator of the Churches of God, Findlay, OH.

The Foundation made its first five grants in 1999 totalling $203,150. Twenty years later (2018), The Foundation had awarded over $5.3 million in grants to congregations and agencies of the Great Lakes Conference. During this twenty-year history The Foundation has entered into Investor Facilitator Agreements to invest finances of four Great Lakes Conferences agencies, and by 2018 has $7.7 million under management.

God has blessed The Foundation of the Great Lakes Conference of the Churches of God, General Conference since its beginning in growth and ministry to Churches, Agencies and the Executive Board of the Great Lakes Conference.

Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow!

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