Laymen’s Foundation

By Jeffrey A. Taylor, President

United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, Inc.

     One of the gospel stories of our United Methodist Men is the Laymen’s Foundation of the West Virginia Annual Conference. This funding source for ministry was created by a group of United Methodist Men in the 1980s.

     In addition to providing support for scouting and United Methodist Men, the main purpose of the Laymen’s Foundation is the awarding of grants to seminarians who intend to become pastors in the West Virginia Annual Conference.

     These grants, called Burke Awards, are named after the late Harold G. “Hal” Burke, whose vision led to the creation of the Laymen’s Foundation.

     “There are so many ways we can support our seminarians who have stepped out in faith to answer God’s call to ministry,” said Rev. George Webb, president of the Laymen’s Foundation. “The financial grants are only a tangible symbol of our general support. And let’s face it — a seminary education is expensive. They need our support.”

     We receive so many expressions of gratitude from the many recipients of these generous grants, which often make the difference that makes their graduate education possible. One recent recipient wrote, “There is no adequate way to say thanks for the opportunity to learn more about Christ, share his love, and answer questions from sincere doubters in our critical age…Thank you so much for this gift.”

     The Laymen’s Foundation is funded by generous United Methodist Men and local church or district UMMen groups from around the Conference.

     Anyone can make a gift in any amount. Simply forward your gift to the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia marked “Laymen’s Foundation.” You can mail your check to P. O. Box 3811, Charleston, WV 25338 or, as always, you can make your gift through our website by going to  and clicking the “give button.” You can make a one-time gift or set up an automatically recurring gift.

     If you’d like to find out information about making a legacy gift to support the ministries of the Laymen’s Foundation, please call me at 304-342-2113 or e-mail me at