The Impact of Scholarships: An Interview With Chris Childs

The Iowa United Methodist Foundation has been blessed with many donors that set aside money to fund scholarships for students who are working to obtain their undergraduate, graduate, masters and/or seminary degrees. We are able to see firsthand how much these scholarships can change the lives of people and help students in need. We had the opportunity to speak with one recipient, Chris Childs, who is out there serving God and our community.

Grace United Methodist Church

Childs was the recipient of the Lorene L. Gerdon Seminary Scholarship from 2014-2018, which helped pay for his seminary education. He grew up in Oskaloosa, Iowa where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Melissa. Childs then went on to attend college in Pella, where he had the opportunity to become a youth leader. After being a youth leader for a while and enjoying the activities of youth ministry, he began to realize that adults were a part of his mission as well. This became especially clear when it came to the transforming power of God’s love. He attended Asbury Seminary and was appointed to Grace United Methodist Church located in Marcus, Iowa. His favorite part of being in the ministry is helping teams to join with what God is doing in the community and acting with God to transform lives.

When asked how receiving the scholarships helped him, he said, “It [the Foundation scholarships] was a tremendous help. During seminary I could focus on learning to be an effective pastor, rather than missing opportunities because I was juggling multiple jobs. I could soak up every extra activity and apply it to my future church, because I had that financial support.” Childs also had some advice to share to young future pastors and said,“Stay involved with a church, ask all the time how you can use this information and live out this learning.”

Aside from his life within the church, Childs spends a lot of his time with his wife and their daughter, Braelyn. He also enjoys hiking and walking his dog, Kelsey. We think that Childs is a stand up gentleman who is out there making a big difference in the community and we are so thankful to have individuals like him as leaders of the church.

These scholarships are available to students because of generous people like yourselves! Want to set up your own scholarship, either through a tax-savvy gift now, or in your will? Check out the free anonymous gift-planning tool at or contact us at or 515-974-8928 for more information and further steps.