The Golden Cross Foundation, now known as ENCORE Ministry, awarded almost $102,500 to 12 churches and organizations in 2021 for a variety of projects that benefitted older adult members.

Recipients were throughout the Tennessee Conference, now part of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky (TWK) Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Among the projects and ministries were a food ministry, flood recovery, installation and upgrading of AV equipment to improve in-person and virtual worship experiences, and parking lot repaving to improve church accessibility.

Here is a chart of the grants, which ranged from $2,000 to $20,000:

Arlington UMC$10,000Flood damage renovation
Carthage UMC$5,000Retrofit for live-streaming worship
Centertown UMC$10,000Food ministry
Centerville UMC$3,000TV monitors and other equipment for livestream worship
Clark UMC$2,000New front doors
Connection UMC$2,004Door restrictor for elevator
Crievewood UMC$6,000Install and upgrade AV equipment in sanctuary
Fort Donelson Memorial UMC$10,000Upgrade parking lot
Mountain T.O.P.$20,000Support staff working with camp participants and older adult homeowners on home renovation projects
Scott’s UMC$10,000Remediate plumbing and mildew problems, repair flooring/walls
Shady Grove UMC$4,425Repave church driveway and parking lot
Safer Worship Grant Tennessee Conference$20,052.96Help churches provide safer in-person worship experiences

The Golden Cross Foundation officially united with the ENCORE Ministry Committee on January 1, 2022, to become ENCORE Ministry.

ENCORE Ministry’s purpose is to support older adult ministry in the TWK Conference. It provides older adult ministry resources, leader training, church consultations, and grants to equip TWK churches for ministry by, with, and for older adults.

“From the start, I’ve always said the foundation exists to give money away,” said ENCORE Ministry Executive Director Kent McNish. “As in previous years, board members will review and approve grant requests from UM churches and organizations throughout the TWK Conference. These grants will support older adult ministries that benefit senior adults in spiritual fellowship, food security, access to healthcare, affordable housing, transportation, and church building accessibility.”

Under the continued leadership of Dr. Richard Gentzler, ENCORE Ministry will also provide older adult ministry resources, leadership training, and church consultations to equip TWK churches for intentional ministry by, with, and for older adults.

TWK churches receive ENCORE Ministry services and resources at no cost.

“I am excited to continue the work of the former ENCORE Ministry Committee in the new TWK Conference,” Gentzler said. “The committee served pastors and older adult ministry church leaders in the former Tennessee Conference starting in 2015. I look forward to continuing those relationships while forming new ones with our brothers and sisters in the former Memphis Conference.”

Since 2014, more than $723,000 in grant money has been awarded to 69 churches and organizations.

“Word continues to spread about ENCORE Ministry grants, resources, leader training, and church consultations and the positive impact they are making in older adults’ lives,” McNish said. “If your church wants to start or expand an older adult ministry or you want to retrofit your building to make it more accessible, safe, and welcoming, we encourage you to contact us.”

Grant applications are accepted all year and reviewed at quarterly board meetings. For grants or funding information, contact Kent McNish at or 615-479-6175. For an online grant application, click here or visit

For more information about resources, leader training, and church consultations by, with, and for older adults, contact Gentzler at or at 615-400-0539.

To receive ENCORE Ministry Matters, a free monthly enewsletter highlighting recent grant recipients and offering a wealth of articles and tips on ministry and resources for older adults, contact

Like its predecessors, ENCORE Ministry operates exclusively from gifts and grants from generous donors. It does not receive apportionment dollars from the TWK Conference.