Seven churches receive grants in second round of 'Churches Reaching Neighbors' program


By Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications

Seven Memphis Conference churches have been awarded grants totaling $11,100 in the second round of awards from the Memphis Conference Churches Reaching Neighbors (CRN) grant program.

The CRN grant program was announced in 2016 by Bishop Bill McAlilly to align with the 2016 Memphis Annual Conference theme: Offering Christ: One Neighborhood at a Time. The annual conference offering that year was designated for the CRN grant program.

Grant recipients submitted ministry action plans (MAPs) that demonstrated “innovation, creativity, risk, conception and promise,” according to the grant guidelines. The number and amounts of grants awarded were determined by the number and quality of grant applications received.

The Memphis Conference Connectional Ministries’ operational team, which served as the grant application review committee, evaluated applications received and divided the awards into two rounds, according to Dr. Joe Geary, director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference, whose office is administering the grants.

First-round recipients were announced in January 2017.

Second-round grant recipients (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Clinton First UMC in Clinton, KY: $2,000 for Helping Hands
  • Collierville UMC in Collierville, TN: $1,000 for Collierville Connected  
  • Jacob’s Well UMC in Memphis, TN: $2,400 for Compassion Party on the Road
  • New Hope UMC in Hollow Rock, TN: $1,000 for Friends Reaching Out to Community
  • Ross UMC in Dyersburg, TN: $2,100 for Girls United and Kaleidoscope Academy
  • St. Mark’s UMC in Memphis, TN: $100 for Blue Bucket Readers
  • Temple UMC in Millington, TN: $2,500 for community lunches and backpack ministry
At press time, $500 remains in the CRN grant pool – still to be awarded, according to Geary.

All CRN grant recipients received training instruction/materials related to their grant awards on helpful topics like the meaning of a missional congregation, characteristics of an effective ministry team and ways to recruit volunteers.

"This grant program supports our Memphis Conference focus to grow fruitful and faithful congregations. Together, we’ll learn effective outreach and faith sharing strategies to make disciples for Jesus Christ," said Geary after the first round of grants.

Churches that have received the grants are connecting to neighbors in their communities and making disciples, as well as developing strategies to increase their numbers of baptisms and “professions of faith,” added Geary.

Sept. 11, 2017 was the deadline to apply for the second round of CRN grants.

For more information about CRN grants, contact Geary at or 731-664-8480.