Golden Cross began in 1908 with the commitment of Methodists in Dallas, Texas to provide health care to persons who could not afford it. They began to receive offerings for the expenses of the poor patients at Methodist Hospital in that city. By 1930, the concept was officially adopted throughout the predecessor denominations of The United Methodist Church.
Today Golden Cross is a ministry that reaches out in love to the laity in our Annual Conference who are experiencing financial difficulty due to excessive medical expenses. Through Golden Cross, United Methodists care for members of our local churches in time of financial need.
The North Georgia Conference has designated the third Sunday of August to be the Sunday to receive a special offering for Golden Cross. In 2023, Golden Cross Sunday is August 20. Each church is asked to observe Golden Cross Sunday to receive an offering.
Golden Cross is North Georgia Conference Fund #1170.
Golden Cross Guidelines
Any individual in need qualifies for assistance under the Golden Cross Fund, regardless of age, gender, race, national origin, or religious affiliation. The only qualification is need, as determined by the pastor of a local United Methodist church or other full connection clergy serving in the North Georgia Conference.
If possible, the applicant’s church should consider helping defer costs by paying a portion of the amount requested prior to submission to the Golden Cross office. Documentation or explanation of the church’s support should accompany the request.
Priority will be given to first time applicants and those who do not have health insurance. Applicants may be considered who have health insurance but are unable to make large deductible payments or payments not covered by insurance. All applications must include an explanation of need and will be reviewed by the committee for final approval.
Golden Cross assistance will be provided for payment of (non-elective) medical expenses, (nonelective) dental expenses, prescription medicines, and health aides. Golden Cross monies will not be paid directly to the applicant to cover out of pocket expenses. Checks will be mailed directly to medical facilities or providers of care.
The applicant may be asked to call providers to give approval to review the bill with the Golden Cross Administrator.
Golden Cross monies will be paid after all assistance from other sources (insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, etc.) has been obtained.
Within the limitation of available funds, Golden Cross assistance will be provided up to $1,000 per individual in need. (In cases of extreme need, limited additional assistance may be provided.)
Written application must be made for Golden Cross assistance. (Applications may be obtained through the North Georgia Conference website.) Documentation of expenses (original or photocopy) must be furnished with the application.
Individuals may only be the recipient of maximum grant amount ($1,000) once every 4 years.
The North Georgia Conference Treasurer’s Office receives funds. The Board of Outreach reviews applications for funds and requests payment from the North Georgia Conference Treasurer’s Office. An annual audit is conducted on all North Georgia Conference accounts, which includes the Golden Cross fund.