Timothy Staff Know Ally Is Not Chairman of the Board – Jesus Christ Is
ORLANDO, Fla.—More than 25 years ago, a realization hit Timothy Plan founder Art Ally “like a ton of bricks.”
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After being in the financial planning business for about 18 years, Ally was challenged to create a retirement plan for pastors of independent churches. What he discovered in his research was alarming.
“Ministry and mission are important to me,” Ally said. “We set about trying to put a package together for (pastors). In that exercise, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It finally forced me to look at what made up a mutual fund, which is what funds these retirement plans, and the kinds of companies these mutual funds own violated biblical principles. So I have pastors standing in the pulpit, preaching against the evils of abortion and pornography. And at the same time, their retirement dollars are invested in companies that are involved in or funding that.
“So it was either forget about it or launch an investment program that would be unique and fit their real needs.”
Ally chose the latter, and 25 years later, the Timothy Plan family of biblically responsible mutual funds and ETFs has helped advisers and investors achieve their financial goals through a pro-life, pro-family approach to faith-based investing—not only to benefit the investor but the broader culture.
And along the way, Ally became the pioneer of Biblically Responsible Investing, or BRI.
But at the outset, many in the field wondered if the groundbreaking idea to screen funds based on biblical concepts was “crazy.”
Alan Ross, today a member of the Timothy Plan Board of Trustees, remembers feeling more than skeptical.
“When Art first came to me with the idea of a screened mutual fund that he was going to call Timothy, I said, ‘Art, I think you’re crazy. I just don’t think this will work,’” Ross said. “I just thought it was going to be a hard act to bring into the capital marketplace, because capital marketplaces are about one thing—return.”
Ally said he had “no illusions” and “no idea of where this was going.”
“I did know (God) wanted it,” he continued. “And we launched it on total faith. It took a lot longer to raise the assets than we projected. I had a great proforma. The only difference was the assets didn’t come in as fast as I thought. And as a result of that, we ran out of money four different times. At the 11th hour, every single time, He brought someone into our life who injected more capital; people I had no way of knowing. We have now taken $1 billion out of the hands of the world, and people of faith have been able to honor their faith with the way they invest their money.”
Employees of Timothy Plan honor the Lord through their work as well. For example, Ally said, a key element is beginning each day with a 30-minute period of devotion and Bible study. In fact, the phones do not turn on until 9 a.m., the founder added.
This 30-minute block of time that is set aside daily for God is even amid a fast-paced, 24/7 industry. And the potential is tremendous, as less than 1% of money is invested in a biblically responsible way.
“There is a great silent majority,” Ally said, “and we’re trying to reach them and give them a way to biblically honor God with the way they invest their money. If we can accomplish that, my vision is accomplished. However much we grow, however much we don’t grow. It’s all His—it’s up to Him.
“The thing that thrills me most is everybody here, from our Board of Trustees to our money management firms, to our service providers, whether it’s our auditors, our back office people, fund consult; they know who we are,” Ally said. “And they know Art Ally is not the Chairman of the Board of Timothy. Jesus Christ is.”
The first of its kind, Timothy Plan birthed the trend of BRI, which is growing rapidly and extensively. In fact, Timothy Plan’s mutual funds currently have over $1 billion of assets under management. The family of mutual funds and ETFs is firmly committed to operating with the integrity, excellence and wisdom that brings honor and glory to Jesus and is a beacon for godly stewardship in the financial community.