← All News & resources

Uptick Catalyst Receives $500,000 Lilly Grant

This is some text inside of a div block.

Baptist General Association (BGAV) is pleased to announce the receipt of a $500,000 sustainability grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. for Uptick Catalyst. Uptick Catalyst was created through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry Initiative. BGAV received a $1 million grant in 2018 to launch Uptick Catalyst.

“We are honored and humbled by Lilly Endowment’s continued affirmation of Uptick Catalyst, which equips pastors to flourish as they ‘build bridges with civility’ in their congregations and communities,” said John Chandler, Founder of Uptick.

A total of 95 pastors, who serve churches, which are diverse in size and in race, ethnicity, and other socio-economic demographics, have participated in Uptick Catalyst. Despite these congregational differences, many commonalities exist, namely a desire to strengthen discipleship; address Matthew 25 issues related to the people of the diaspora, racism, poverty, incarceration, and education; explore new partnerships within the community; and become relevant to an increasingly distanced younger generation.

“By attending to the health of pastoral leaders, connecting them with wise friends of the faith, and providing tools and resources to address congregational and community challenges, Uptick Catalyst is addressing the key needs of both pastors and the congregations they serve,” noted Laura McDaniel, Director of Uptick Catalyst.

"I truly believe that the greatest miracle that the North American church is going to see in the days ahead will happen only when the walls that divide us—whether they are gender walls, cultural walls, economic walls, or race walls—come down,” said John Upton, BGAV Executive Director. "When that happens, the people of God will be free to experience the incredible miracles that the Spirit is wanting to work in us. I believe this sustainability grant will continue to help us knock those walls down, so that God’s kingdom can truly be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Thriving in Ministry is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s grant-making to strengthen pastoral leadership in Christian congregations in the United States. This has been a grant-making priority at Lilly Endowment Inc. for more than 25 years.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. —through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state Indiana. Its grantmaking in religion focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the country and to increase the public’s understanding of the role of religion in public life.