Our Heritage

In September of 1971, Rev. Lyle Wacker, Director of Church Extension, presented a report which outlined the capital funding needs of the NAB Conference for their next five year period. Based on the NABC (North American Baptist Conference) starting 27 new churches over that five year period, and assuming an investment in land and buildings of $25,000 per project, the anticipated capital funding required for that stated period of time would have been $675,000. The Church Extension Revolving Fund was then able to provide for a portion of the capital funding needs, based on their cash inflow from interest and principal payments on outstanding loans. In addition, there was $100,000 in the Revolving Loan Fund. The estimated capital funds needed were then estimated to be around $200,000. The obvious question became, “Where do these funds come from -or- do they cut back eight projects from the Church Extension programs?”

A committee consisting of Edwin Marlein, Lyle Wacker, Mary Leypoldt, Gideon Zimmerman, John Binder, Kenneth Miller, Richard Schilke, Robert Mayforth and Milton Hildebrandt were appointed to explore the means by which additional sources of capital funds may be obtained, in order that Church Extension could effectively implement its projected plans. To start, the committee looked at the programs being used by several other denominations. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that a program similar to one used by one of the denominations they researched, would be the best route to pursue.

An implementation committee, consisting of Lyle Wacker, Robert Mayforth, Everett Barker, Stanley Johnson and Milton Hildebrandt, was formed to work out the plan and details of this new organizational idea which was introduced at the 1973 General Conference. From the very beginning, the committee established proper controls to help reduce risk and ensure compliance to all governing bodies – Controls still practiced today.

CEIF was a pioneer in ensuring that its securities offerings complied with government laws. CEIF has served as an example to many other funds.

The Fund was incorporated in 1973 after receiving blessings from the General Council, and came to be known as Church Extension Investors Fund (CEIF), the financing ministry of the NAB Conference. The fund was organized as a not-for-profit corporation under the statutes of the State of Illinois. CEIF supports itself independently of the NAB.

CEIF was built upon the dream that funds for future building projects would come from people who would invest in bonds or certificates, receive interest on their investments, and know their funds were being used for a certain period of time to build churches. Some of CEIF’s founders dreamed the fund might grow to $5,000,000 in assets. God has blessed this ministry more than they could have ever imagined.

Today, the organization is commonly known as Church Investors Fund and:

  1. Finances established churches and ministries, including church plants.
  2. Has over $130,000,000 in assets combined in U.S. and Canada.
  3. Has financed over 400 projects since inception.
  4. Has extended $100s of millions in loans.