Dr. Larry Lloyd founded the Hope Christian Community Foundation in the fall of 1998 as the logical outgrowth of what he started in 1987 with the Memphis Leadership Foundation.  Throughout the years, Dr. Lloyd has learned that urban ministry leaders needed resources, training, accountability and an operational structure that empowered them to build the kingdom and be effective with their efforts. So many great inner city leaders with great ideas “died on the vine” in cities across America because they were unable to sustain their vision financially or got bogged down in the administrative detail, robbing them of the energy they brought to the inner city in the first place.  Additionally, the reality is that the financial resources for ministry in the inner city are often not found there.

The Memphis Leadership Foundation has become a national model of how to get ministry done in the inner city through indigenous leadership.  What remained of Dr. Lloyd’s dream, however, was a “pool” of financial resources that would continue to fund and grow ministry in the inner city for years to come….an inner city ministry “endowment” if you will.

While the Memphis Leadership Foundation and the ministries it has spawned (Streets Ministries, Neighborhood Housing Opportunities, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Urban Youth Initiative, Christ Community Medical Clinics, etc.) are strong, well organized and getting great results, they are constantly in the fund raising mode for their existence.  They have precious little reserve and no endowment fund at all. This, in and of itself, is good and necessary, always making sure that the ministry leaders walk by faith.  But when a new opportunity arises, or a new idea comes to the table, there was not a Christian foundation in Memphis for these ministries and some 50 others in Memphis to turn to for funding.

There are many fine foundations in Memphis: private family foundations and public foundations. And many of them will give to Christian, inner city ministry, but they are hard for the indigenous leader to access.  Some foundations, for example, have an application form that would tend to create a barrier to all but the most sophisticated fundraiser. And, if the tried and true maxim “fund raising is about who you know” is true, then networking in certain circles is key to a successful fund raising campaign. Again, the leaders that are in the trenches in the inner city are often not a part of that network and it takes them years to recruit board members who are.

It was time for Memphis to have a foundation solely committed to inner city, Christ-centered ministry that can respond to inner city churches and non-profit organizations who are making a difference.  And, we believe that the Christian Community concept is the most strategic way to do this.  By helping donors achieve their giving goals, over time, we will create a “pool” of funds for inner city ministry right here in Memphis.  Your gift gives twice. First you give to a donor-advised fund and then advise us to give money to charities and churches of your choice. Any surplus of fees we charge for that service go into our Hope for Memphis Fund that gives again…this time to new ministries we expect to get results in the heart of our city.  So God’s kingdom is expanded, donors are helped to give even more effectively and strategically, and inner city leadership will have a source for funding cutting edge ministry in our city for years to come.

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Hope Christian Community Foundation
4515 Poplar Ave. Suite 324
Memphis, TN 38117
M 901.682.6201, F 901.682.8098

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