By Cindy Solomon

Since its inception in 2013, ENCORE Ministry, the official older adult ministry of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church (TWK), has awarded more than $1 million in grants to 130 congregations and organizations. Grant money has helped fund a variety of projects benefitting older adults throughout the conference.

Milestones include:

ENCORE Ministry’s mission is to support older adult ministry in the TWK Conference by providing consultation, training and support, advocacy, resources, networking opportunities, and grant funding to equip church leaders in the conference for intentional ministry by, with, and for older adults. The foundation operates exclusively from gifts and grants from generous donors. It does not receive apportionment dollars from the TWK Conference.

“As I begin my tenure at ENCORE Ministry, I am grateful for founding Executive Director Kent McNish’s leadership,” said Executive Director John Rivas. “ENCORE Ministry’s primary aim is to impact the lives of aging and older adults and I’m passionate about seeing that no person be excluded or alienated because of his or her age. I’m also filled with optimism and anticipation as we continue to support churches and organizations throughout the TWK Conference with resources, training, and support that benefit senior adults in spiritual fellowship, food security, access to healthcare, and providing building accessibility.”

If You Want to Know More

  • Grant applications are accepted all year and reviewed at Grants Committee meetings. For grants or funding information, contact Cindy Solomon at For an online grant application, click here or visit
  • For more information about resources, leader training, and church consultations by, with, and for older adults, contact Dr. Richard Gentzler at or at 615-400-0539.
  • To receive ENCORE Ministry Connection, a free monthly enewsletter highlighting recent grant recipients and offering a wealth of articles and tips on ministry and resources for older adults, contact