Stories from our Retired Clergy

Retirement is a new chapter for our pastors who have dedicated their lives to serving the United Methodist Church. Many don’t have the housing, savings, or investments, to feel confident that they can support themselves for the remainder of their lives. Your gift to The Endowment Board will lift this burden, enabling their golden years to be filled with security and peace of mind.

Reverend Glenda Thomas Hayward

Reverend Glenda Thomas Hayward
Ordained in 1970, served seven churches in 31 years of active service

“I am fortunate to be in good health for my age, and spend little time visiting doctors and dentists, for which I am thankful. I was privileged to serve on The Endowment Board and became aware of how greatly its contributions aided retired clergy, especially some who were in dire financial conditions. The substantial amount given annually to The Conference Board of Pensions to subsidize healthcare for all of us in the retired relation is surely, for many, the gift of life itself. The Endowment Board also subsidizes the Spring Fling—an annual event for retirees which supplies us with food for the mind, music for the soul, and an annual opportunity to reunite with our clergy colleagues that we seldom would see otherwise.

Many of us get to decide each day “What is God calling me to now?” When I have a day without something or someone on my calendar, I ask myself that question. I usually get an answer, and I like to think God’s presence is in that answer.”

Reverend John Dodson

Reverend John Dodson
Ordained 1956, served 42 years

“When I was ready to retire in 1999 I looked at my options. I hadn’t paid much attention to my retirement funds. I was frightened when I sat down to review my holdings. I knew healthcare was going to be a significant issue. I was certainly aware of our Endowment Board and had helped to secure funds for the Board.

I had not thought about how The Endowment Board would impact my future and my family. As I began to understand how the funds delivered to the Conference over the last 100 years would affect my health costs, I was relieved. It would make a difference in what I would be paying over the rest of my life.

I have been retired now 17 years and my healthcare supplement has amounted to 60 to 65 thousand dollars. What a difference those funds have made over the years. It has made a significant impact in my life. It is the gift that keeps giving. I have a heart full of gratitude and recently I began giving back with joy to The Endowment Board.”

Reverend Gil Vieira
Reverend Gil Vieira
Ordained in 1953, served seven churches in 36 years of active service

“Our retirement financial concerns were minimized because we began saving from the very first day of our marriage (about 64 years ago). We are able to live comfortably at a senior retirement center, but on the same frugal principles we have followed over the years. The financial commitment of The Endowment Board to provide for the needs of retired clergy, especially health coverage, redounded to our personal welfare, and continues to do so.

We remain as active as we can with ministry, and for my wife, teaching, behind us. Retirement could not have been more pleasant and fulfilling, with healthy work on our property, wonderful times of family visiting us, and enjoyment of nature and the seasons.

I never expected the learning curve that came with aging and I wasn’t prepared for the physical and existential hurdles rising to meet me. Though my health has remained intact, nature has her way. As a caregiver to my wife, I discovered what the unrelenting progress of the years can leave in its wake. This time of discovery has also revealed the enormous capacity for humor, warm friendships, and the daily endurance of individuals with handicapping limitations and chronic pain. It has also revealed the many talents and the qualities of spirit which continue to be manifested in even the highest reaches of age.”


If you have been touched by the work of The Endowment Board, and you feel comfortable sharing your story, we would love to hear from you. Please send your story and contact information to