The Kingdom Missions Fund (KMF) began with one man’s faithfulness to put away $50 a month to create a fund investing in missions. Just over ten years later the fund has raised nearly over $600,000 and funded smart, sustainable and scalable missions projects across the planet.
Paul Barber’s missions journey began by raising personal support to be a part of Campus Crusade for Christ in the early 1970’s. Soon he found himself in the Philippines directing a missions training center. After returning from overseas he began working in the education and corporate worlds.
Like all of us, Paul each month received multiple requests to give to various missions projects. While he was faithful to give small amounts it became frustrating to see so many people with amazing visions held back by financial restraints. The need for new sources of revenue for the Kingdom became apparent.
Along with his accountant John Craft, Paul began looking for a way to create a fund that could combine donations from many people to create a sustainable funding source. However, the two quickly discovered what seemed to be insurmountable startup costs and red tape.
Many years later, Paul challenged Darrell Amy to go on a missions trip to Honduras. While there Darrell began to see the challenge of working in a foreign country while trying to raise money from friends and family back home.
Upon his return, Darrell and Paul had lunch to discuss a business plan. One of the footnotes of the plan caught Paul’s attention: the business was going to use a percentage of profits to create a fund for missions. This immediately caught Pauls attention. Together they decided to see if the KMF could be a possibility.
The very next week, Darrell attended an investment outlook conference hosted by Chad Carlson, a Certified Financial Planner. At the luncheon he sat next to David Moore, President of the Arkansas Baptist Foundation. He quickly learned that the foundation managed over $225 million in assets for churches and other Christian non-profit. After a quick description of the vision for the fund David said, “Yes, we can make that happen.”
That very next week, Darrell and Paul sat in David’s office working on the framework for the charter of the KMF. The fund was set up as a donor-advised fund. This structure allows the fund to take advantage of the infrastructure and financial management of the ABF while giving complete authority over the fund distribution to the KMF Board of Directors.
During the initial meeting David asked Paul how much money he was going to bring to the fund. 20 months earlier Paul had started putting $50 a month into a savings account in faith that someday the fund would become a reality. Sheepishly, Paul said, “We have $1,000 to get this started.” Fortunately, David gave his approval and the KMF was born.
The very next month in January 2003 the KMF convened its inaugural board meeting. The charter board (Paul Barber, Darrell Amy, John Craft, Chad Carlson and David Moore) began raising funds. The first year the fund raised about $20,000. Following the fund’s formula of investing 80% of each year’s proceeds and giving away 20% along with the earnings on the fund, the first year’s grants totaled $1,700.
It didn’t take long for missions organizations to notice. Each month the fund began receiving multiple requests for grants. A Missions Advisory Committee was formed to communicate with the organizations asking for funding.
Fifteen years later, the fund had a value of over $350,000 after giving away over $280,000 to 161 missions projects across the world. All of this has been done with small gifts from individuals and corporations. Many people give monthly.
Last year the KMF received over 60 grant applications. As you can see from the missions profiles we have been able to fund many smart projects that have become self-sustaining and scalable.
Today the fund is on its way to $1 million. But we’re not stopping here. We are currently taking the most successful ideas we have funded and packaging them up to make it easy for other missions to replicate the success. We also have a vision to create 100 Kingdom Missions Funds in cities around the world, creating a combined $100 million fund to impact the world for Christ.
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