GuideStone Church Retirement Plan adds additional flexibility for state convention-provided benefits


While the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed many plans, financial planning should not be something set on the back burner, especially for pastors and other church leaders.

The Church Retirement Plan — GuideStone’s 403(b)(9) retirement plan designed exclusively for Southern Baptist church pastors and staff — can help provide for the future.

As ministry leaders invest to fund their future, many Baptist state conventions come alongside to provide additional protection benefits based upon retirement plan participation and contributions. These valuable benefits are designed to help protect ministry families in the event of disability or death.

Thanks to GuideStone’s partnership with many Baptist state conventions, eligible Southern Baptist ministers and church employees may qualify for a disability benefit of up to $500 each month and survivor benefits of up to $100,000.

“These benefits are possible thanks to the efforts of state conventions and GuideStone,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “These benefits set GuideStone’s retirement plan apart from any plan available to pastors and church staff.”

Last year, GuideStone paid out about $5 million in disability and survivor benefits to pastors and their families. Furthermore, GuideStone reduced the cost of the benefits to state conventions by 33% to free more money for ministry and broaden accessibility to ministry leaders.

In addition to the protection benefits, Baptist state conventions may choose to make an annual retirement contribution to the retirement accounts of ministry leaders should participants meet the state convention’s individual eligibility requirements.

“By saving through the Church Retirement Plan, you are preparing wisely for the future while providing additional supplemental protection for your family in the near-term,” Hawkins said. “While no pastor ever plans to retire, saving through the Church Retirement Plan can help prepare for a future where one can take on self-funded ministry opportunities wherever the Lord will lead.”

“Our mission reminds us that we exist to honor the Lord by being a lifelong partner with our participants in enhancing their financial security,” Hawkins said. “Through the Church Retirement Plan, state conventions and GuideStone aim to help Southern Baptist pastors prepare for retirement while providing a measure of value-added security, should they or their family need it during their working years.”

For more details regarding the benefits, retirement contributions, and state conventions’ eligibility requirements, please visit or call 1-888-984-8433.


Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services at GuideStone.

Media Contact
Roy Hayhurst
Director of Denominational and Public Relations Services
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention® | (214) 720-2141