“We are so proud to have reached this milestone with our denomination and our partners in ministry by serving churches in every region of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico,” notes Erick D. ‘Rick’ Reisinger, Disciples Church Extension Fund President. “For six generations, Disciples have been helping Disciples through the services we offer, including investments which fund the low interest loans we make to congregations. In this way, Disciples have been able to invest in their future and their faith.”
When founded the Church Extension Fund, as it was then called, totaled just $2,605 — all of it donated by four attendees of the 1883 General Christian Missionary Convention to provide ‘a little timely help’ to congregations in need, particularly those forming on the western frontier whose lack of a suitable house of worship was the chief hindrance to success. Today the Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF), as it has been known since 2012, totals more than $184 million. The very first loan from the organization that would become DCEF was made in 1884 to the First Christian Church of Atchison, Kan., for $500 — the ceiling for loans at that time and nearly one-fifth of the ministry’s total assets! More than 137 years and six generations later, the mission of DCEF remains the same: to inspire and empower congregations to create Holy Places where people connect with God, each other and the community.