As dawn broke Saturday, December 11, on the historic damage wrought by a December tornado outbreak, GuideStone® staff began reaching out to churches across the Mid-South who may have been impacted by the December 10, 2021, tornado outbreak.
“At GuideStone, we exist to honor the Lord by being a lifelong partner with our participants in enhancing their financial security,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “During times like these, we seek to serve as Christ’s hand extended to our participants and the churches we serve across these states and are joining with our Southern Baptist family in praying for all affected by this storm.”
During this time, GuideStone has made it easier to obtain prescription refills, even if a refill would not normally be authorized. Participants in GuideStone’s PPO health plans are already able to access Teladoc® at no charge, which may be a benefit to those displaced by the tornado outbreak. Any members who need to speak to a doctor for acute, non-emergency care can visit teladoc.com.
“As all of us in Southern Baptist life know when the storm comes, our churches and Disaster Relief efforts go into overdrive, helping to provide physical assistance in Christ’s name,” GuideStone President-elect Hance Dilbeck said. “GuideStone also, within our context, works closely to ensure churches and pastors and other church staff can do the work of ministry during these challenging days.”
Churches served by GuideStone’s life and health plans that are unable to pay premiums, remit contributions or payments should contact 1-844-INS-GUIDE (1-844-467-4843) for more information.
Mission:Dignity® staff have reached out to all participants in the affected states to determine needs. (If you know of a retirement-aged SBC minister or a minister’s widow in need, please contact Mission:Dignity at MissionDignity@GuideStone.org.)
Additionally, participants qualified for relief assistance through the Retirement Plan will be eligible for the following:
Where applicable, full Protection Section benefits will be continued, and the requirement that retirement contributions must be made for continuous months will be waived for individuals whose church has been impacted. While GuideStone encourages churches to resume making retirement plan contributions, in the event of a death or disability, up to 12 months Protection Section credits will be granted, even if there are no retirement plan contributions. GuideStone does not need to be contacted for this relief, as it will be applied when the applicant’s death or disability is determined by GuideStone.
Distributions, rollovers and loan repayments will be handled in accordance with IRS guidance.
Wire transfer fees and overnight mail fees to expedite payments to the affected areas will be waived.
Participants should call the GuideStone Customer Solutions Center at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433) in order to expedite plan distributions and loans.
“All of us at GuideStone are joining with others throughout the Southern Baptist Convention to lift up the millions affected by this tornado outbreak,” Dilbeck said. “We are committed to serving our participants during these days.”
Director of Denominational and Public Relations
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention
Roy.Hayhurst@GuideStone.org | (214) 720-2141