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Texas Methodist Foundation honors Tom Locke with Medallion of Merit

Jan 17, 2023

Texas Methodist Foundation honors Tom Locke with Medallion of Merit

Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) recently awarded its Medallion of Merit, the organization’s highest honor, to Tom Locke in recognition of his pivotal 33 years of service at TMF.

The Medallion of Merit award was created by Locke in 2001 to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to advancing the mission of TMF to empower the church. GilRendle, former TMF senior vice president, surprised Locke with the award at a retirement celebration in Locke’s honor at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in November.

“You have paired a deep commitment to the purpose of the church with an equal determination to adapt resources to that purpose. Because of that, an untold number of communities, families, and individuals served by TMF, Wesleyan Investive and the church have been welcomed into the story of God’s goodness,” said Rendle. “These are remarkable accomplishments that took immense collaboration. But most importantly, you never lost sight that the goal of those efforts was to create more resources for forming deep communities of faith that transform lives.”

Locke was president of TMF for 29 years, leading the process of discovering TMF’s core purpose and core values and creating a culture of change that led to bold responses to rapidly evolving challenges in the religious landscape. These initiatives included: TMF’sinvestment in courageous leadership, launched in 2003; strategic discernment and purpose work with congregations; the development of cultures of philanthropy; and expanded grants support for nonprofits transforming their communities in creative and systemic ways.

Rev. Lisa Greenwood, who was selected to succeed Locke as president of TMF and WesleyanInvestive, said, “Tom’s impact is so embedded in the DNA of these organizations that he will forever be a part of our unfolding history. We are so grateful.”

Locke led TMF through an extraordinary growth in assets, from $100 million to over $700 million. He oversaw mergers with foundations in three other conferences and with the United Methodist Development Fund, a national organization that became WesleyanInvestive. As president of Wesleyan Investive, Locke helped widen the commitment to the purpose of the church by expanding the reach of loans; launching Leadership and Innovation to embolden high-capacity leaders; and investing in missionally-driven innovation by recognizing and resourcing spiritual entrepreneurs through the Tom Locke Innovative Leader Award.

Past recipients of the Medallion of Merit award include Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, Robert W.Dupuy, Dr. Leighton K. Farrell, Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, Henry C. Joyner, Bishop MichaelMcKee, Dr. Gilbert R. Rendle, Jr., Dr. John R. Wimmer, and Kathryn Prothro Yeager.

About TMF

Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the church to achieve its God-appointed mission, and living our values of servanthood, integrity, and competence. TMF is one of the largest Methodist foundations in the country offering assistance across the Wesleyan ecosystem through investments, loans, grants, leadership platforms, gift planning, and endowment services. TMF serves organizations throughout Texas and New Mexico. TMF is based in Austin, Texas.

About Wesleyan Investive

Wesleyan Investive is a national nonprofit that invests in congregations, leaders, and missionally driven innovation while catalyzing good works within communities. Over the course of its 50-year history, Wesleyan Investive has made thousands of loans totaling over half a billion dollars to churches across the United States to empower them to pursue their God-sized dreams. The work is made possible through partnerships with impact investors, foundations, and philanthropists across the country. Wesleyan Investive is based in Austin, Texas. To learn more, please visit