INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – An anonymous family has given the Community of Christ $40 million, a donation that exceeds the church’s annual operating budget by about a third.
The Independence-based church, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, announced the gift in the January issue of its magazine.
Church spokeswoman Linda Booth said officials had known about the pending gift for about 18 months, well before a recent article appeared in the magazine discussing financial concerns facing the 250,000-member church, due in part to a decline in tithes.
Booth interviewed the donors for the magazine, and one described advice given to him by his father.
“He’d say: ‘If you’ve got money in your pocket that you’re not using and you find someone who needs it, give it to them. If you keep that money, it would be like having a stone in your pocket for all the good it does,'” she said.
The Community of Christ traces its origin to Joseph Smith, who organized the Mormon church in 1830. The Community of Christ split from the Utah-based Mormon church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in 1860 and changed its name in 2001.