Adventist Church treasurer Juan Prestol-Puesán highlighted his team’s sense of deep gratitude to church members and God in his presentation of the 2018 Financial Report to the members of the church’s Executive Committee on April 9, 2019. His report, entitled “The 2018 Financial Story,” told a story of trust in what he believes is God’s past, present, and future leading.
“The audited financial statement indicates the blessings we received, and the guidance of the Lord,” he told church leaders from around the world who met at the Adventist Church world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. “I am glad to report… positive operating results for the year 2018,” he announced.
How the Church Did in 2018
In a year marked by volatility in financial markets and weakness in some key foreign currencies, Prestol-Puesán said the finances of the Church world headquarters did well thanks to an increase in worldwide tithes and a consistent control of expenses.
“Tithe increased 3.6 percent, or USD$89 million, for a total of USD$2.5 billion,” he said. “It includes a USD$55 million increase in tithe in the North American Division, for a total of USD$1.077 billion.”
Prestol-Puesán’s report also highlighted that mission offerings reached more than USD$88 million, a figure that does not include church members’ contributions to their local churches.
On the other hand, General Conference expenses—or the money spent to run the world church headquarters—are down for the second straight year, reported Prestol-Puesán. This includes savings of more than USD$1.1 million in travel expenses, he said.
Adventist Church associate treasurer Ray Wahlen reminded Executive Committee members and those following the proceedings online how this works.
“The General Conference operates on a cap of 2 percent of total gross tithe,” he said. “In 2018, the world church headquarters operated USD$4 million under the budget and more than USD$7.2 million under the 2 percent cap.”