News & Articles


50 Years Serving Ministers, Missionaries, and Church Staff

Authored by: Ric Stanghelle, FCMM President
Date: January 20, 2021
Scripture calls us to honor those who serve well – especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

In 2021, FCMM (“Free Church Ministers and Missionaries”) will mark our 50th Anniversary. We are very grateful that, in 1971, leaders of the EFCA had the vision to establish a retirement plan that could provide a steady income for pastors and missionaries in retirement. From those early years, FCMM has grown to provide other benefits such as Long Term Disability and Life Insurance (now called the Benefit Plan), and a Payroll Service. Today, church lay employees are eligible for benefits and retirement along with pastors and missionaries.

To the churches that are contributing to the Retirement Plan on behalf of your staff, thank you! This is a valuable benefit. Scripture calls us to honor those who serve well – especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. I Timothy 5:17-18. One of the ways we can show our love to those who serve our churches is by providing for them in their current ministry and for their future retirement.

And to the churches that are providing disability income protection to your staff through the Benefit Plan, thank you for your care for these families! This benefit also gives the church flexibility of resources to continue staffing ministry during a disability.

I was a pastor in an EFCA church for 32 years and I am grateful for those who saw the need to do this early in my ministry. At FCMM, we recommend that churches contribute the equivalent of 10% of a pastor’s salary and housing to their retirement fund. Then if the pastor or staff member can add at least 5% to it by voluntary salary deferral contributions, it will provide a solid base for retirement years.

Today, FCMM is providing monthly retirement income to over 400 pastors and missionaries from their accumulated contributions, along with other alternatives forms of post-employment income. If you are not currently in the Retirement Plan or the Benefit Plan, please talk with us to see how you could get started today!