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Are you a church worker in need?

Church Workers' Assistance Plan stems from the Church of the Brethren’s commitment to mutuality within the church, and is funded by local churches and districts that participate in the Pension Plan.  It provides financial support to church workers with specific financial needs. 

If you are in need of assistance, or know of someone in need, contact Debbie Butcher with questions or to request an application.
847-622-3391 / dbutcher@cobbt.org


We will provide an application for the grant program. It will ask for information such as:

  • Your Church of the Brethren employment history and tenure.
  • Your current annual living expenses
  • Documentation of income and assets

Please fill out the application and send it in, even if you aren’t sure you qualify. This benevolent program is designed to fairly represent church, district, and camp employees with a variety of financial backgrounds and means.

COVID-19 Emergency Grants are Available

Another block of COVID-19 Emergency Grant funds is now available Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2021.

Employees of churches, districts and camps who are struggling financially due to the economic conditions created by the pandemic are encouraged to apply for financial assistance. If you have already received financial assistance through BBT’s COVID-19 Emergency Grant and need additional help, you are eligible to reapply for the fourth round of funding.

In addition to the grant programs, BBT provides financial expertise as a service to the church. BBT staff members conduct educational seminars, presentations, and Insight Sessions on issues related to stewardship, investing, and finance, covering such diverse topics as socially responsible consuming, estate planning, and credit card debt.

Who is eligible?

The Church Workers’ Assistance Plan is intended to provide financial assistance to current and former clergy and lay employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, or campus who have worked at least half-time (1,000 hours/year) and have no other means of financial assistance.

Eligibility is based, in part, on employment history. Current employees of a Church of the Brethren congregation, district, or camp must have served a minimum of five years, at least half-time (1,000 hours/years), while former employees must have served a minimum of 10 years, at least half-time. Those who have served for 20 years or more may be eligible for additional benefits.

How is it funded?

Churches and districts that participate in the Pension Plan support this ministry by contributing an amount equal to 1% of the total compensation paid to all their employees who work at least half-time.

A similar payment is strongly encouraged from churches that do not participate in the Pension Plan.

Donations may be sent to:

Brethren Benefit Trust
Attn: Church Workers' Assistance Plan
1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120

The Church Workers' Assistance Plan ministry helps provide support
for retired clergy, active clergy, and lay employees with financial needs.

This plan is an Annual Conference directive financed by church, district, and camp employers who designate 1 percent of their
salary expenditures to this fund, as well as additional
congregational donations. 

Church Workers’ Assistance Plan grants represent taxable income. BBT sends 1099-MISC statements to recipients to be included in
their taxes.

In 2020, more than $290,000 in grants was given by the Church Workers’ Assistance Plan, including 42 grant recipients.

Also in 2020 50 members of the ministers' group received COVID-19 Emergency Grants, totaling more than 218,000.

Building financial security

Bettering the world

Together

Brethren Benefit Trust provides retirement benefits, health and welfare benefits, asset management, and financial advocacy to pastors, employees, and members of the greater Church of the Brethren community.

Since it began as the Pension Board in 1943, BBT has been called to serve its members and clients, and we are thankful for that opportunity.