From Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
New York, December 16, 2015—The William I.H. and Lula E. Pitts Foundation awarded Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church a $500,000 grant in support of Global Ministries’ establishment of its new home in Atlanta, Georgia. The grant will be used to support the renovation and construction project of Global Ministries’ new offices at 458 Ponce De Leon Avenue in midtown Atlanta. The move to Atlanta—a catalyst for envisioning new ways to connect the church in mission—is a pivotal moment in the life of Global Ministries and the people with whom it serves.
From left, Glenn Kellum, Special Assistant, Office of the General Secretary; Ralph Morrison, Board Chair of the Pitts Foundation; Thomas Kemper, General Secretary, Global Ministries; Allen Mast, First Vice President and Leader of the Private Foundations Specialty Practice for Sun Trust Bank.
The Pitts Foundation grant-making process is deeply rooted in a family history of charitable giving dating back to the early 1900s. William I.H. Pitts and Margaret Adger Pitts, founders of the Pitts Foundation, have given away millions to Methodist causes and institutions, including the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Open Door Community House, United Methodist Children’s Homes and Vashti Center for Children and Families.
Global Ministries’ beginnings can be traced to predecessors dating from the early 19th century. The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, begun in 1820 headquartered in New York City, was among the earliest of those agencies and focused on mission both within and outside the United States. Today, Global Ministries supports 350 missionaries in 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects, and partners in a total of 136 countries.
Of particular significance in Atlanta will be the new Center for Mission Innovation and the new unit facilitating training. These two entities will 1) activate the exploration of best practices in missions both locally and globally, 2) equip individuals and groups to be relevant mission innovators in their own communities 3) develop learning experiences and collective wisdom in cutting edge priority areas of being the church.
The Pitts Foundation grant bolsters Global Ministries’ vision and work in Georgia and demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to charitable giving and The United Methodist Church.
When asked about the Foundation’s gift, Thomas Kemper, Global Ministries General Secretary stated, “Becoming a Pitts Foundation grant recipient is an extraordinary honor because it not only means we are receiving grant funds but we are also cultivating a relationship with an organization dedicated to the church and its mission in Atlanta and the world.”
Allen Mast, First Vice President and Leader of the Private Foundations Specialty Practice for Sun Trust Bank stated, “The Pitts Foundation is pleased to have the opportunity to support Global Ministries’ relocation to Atlanta and its critical work here in Georgia and around the globe. This is an important development in the life of the Methodist Church and a wonderful opportunity for Atlanta and the entire state. We welcome Global Ministries and its dedicated staff to our region.”