Our History

  • 1893

    Milwaukee Deaconess Home Established. Later, in 1928, Grant Hall was built, a "Home Away From Home For Methodist Girls." In 1925 a large old house located next to the lot where Grant Hall was built was purchased. This house was used as an "old people's home" for 13 elderly women. Later two adjacent houses were also purchased, remodeled, and named Grannex and Grantmeyer, so a total of 125 women could be cared for. All of these buildings were dedicated in 1943 (completely paid for) by Bishop Ralph Cushman.

  • 1956

    Twenty-three acres of land were purchased in West Allis where Methodist Manor was built in 1959-1960.

  • 1963

    All four buildings were sold to Mount Sinai Hospital because what is now the I-43 Highway was taking the front portion of the lots. A portion of the proceeds was given to Methodist Manor to help care for the elderly women who had moved to the Manor. It was also agreed that any bequests from wills written earlier would be divided on a ratio basis with the Manor.

  • 1964

    The remainder of the funds, totaling approximately $400,000 was used to establish the Milwaukee Methodist Foundation for the purpose of giving grants.

  • 1964-70

    Changed name to Wisconsin Deaconess Foundation, then to Wisconsin Methodist Foundation and to the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation after the union of the two denominations had taken place.

  • 1973-76

    Wisconsin Conference creates Wills Emphasis Task Force to determine the best way of creating a wills and memorials emphasis in the Conference and among the churches. It recommends the, then existing, Foundation restructure to serve the Wisconsin Conference.

  • 1976

    The Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation restructures and becomes the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation, Inc. Its Board was elected by the Annual Conference; its budget was primarily from Conference apportionments; and it was amenable to the Conference.

  • 1976-78

    The Foundation moved from one very part-time Executive Secretary to four part-time Field Representatives (one from the former Foundation, two from the Conference Board of Pensions, and one from Health and Welfare Ministries), plus utilizing the part-time services as Executive Director of the Methodist Hospital Foundation Executive Director, on loan for two years.

  • 1979

    As proposed by the Wills Emphasis Task Force and voted favorably by the 1976 Annual Conference, the Foundation moved into its first full-time Executive Director, part-time Secretary and retaining the four part-time Field Representatives. At this time, its assets were the Grants Fund of $500,000.

  • 1980

    Common Fund "A" was created to be used as the vehicle for its Funds Investment Service for permanent funds of local churches and for Trusts and Memorials to be held for others. A Pooled Income Fund (approved by the Treasury Department) was also established by which individuals could receive life income and then have 100% of their gift go to the United Methodist cause which they had designated. It also began holding Trusts and Memorials for various causes and churches.

  • 1986

    A new, full-time Executive Director was hired.

  • 1987

    Annual Conference votes to separate itself from the Foundation for legal purposes. Common Fund "A" reaches a Market Value of $5,000,000.

  • 1988

    Participant records in Investment Funds is computerized.

  • 1989

    Staff was reduced to Executive Director, part-time Office Secretary, part-time Treasurer and one part-time Field Representative.

  • 1990

    The Fixed-Income Fund was established. Restructured staff to include a full-time Executive Director and part-time Administrative Assistant, Office Secretary and Treasurer. Assets under management reached $10,000,000.

  • 1992

    A new Executive Director was hired in July.

  • 1993

    A goal of $20,000,000 in assets under management was reached.

  • 1996

    Charitable Gift Annuities Program begun.

  • 1998

    Assets under management reach $40,000,000. New Samaritan Fund established.

  • 1999

    Accountant Jann Brockmann retires and new full time Accountant/Financial Officer hired. Two Administrative Associates hired to job-share secretary, receptionist, records and documentation, database development and publicity. Office expansion occurs.

  • 2001

    Assets under management reach $50,000,000. A new, full-time Financial/Marketing Associate is hired.

  • 2002

    August 15 the Foundation launched the Church Mortgage Loan Program, part-time loan officer hired.

  • 2003

    Relocation of the Foundation offices to a larger suite in Conference Center.

  • 2004

    Hired a part-time Capital Campaign Coordinator.

  • 2006

    In partnership with Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, providing funds investment services.

  • 2007

    In partnership with Minnesota United Methodist Foundation, providing funds investment services.

  • 2009

    Dakotas UMF began self-management of investments.

  • 2010

    Foundation moved into expanded office space. New network server installed and implementation of digital document system.

  • 2013

    Rev. William F. Helwig retires from serving 21 years as the President of the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation. Eric P. Churan is hired as the new Foundation President.

  • 2015

    The Foundation moves to an actively managed Fixed-Income Fund, utilizing the services of a professional bond manager. The Fixed-Income Fund will include Corporate Bonds in addition to U.S. Treasury and U.S. Government Agency Bonds.