Cumberland First Baptist Church, H-IPL Acclaimed Congregation
Cumberland First Baptist Church was one of the first five Hoosier congregations to become an H-IPL Acclaimed Congregation in 2015. An acclaimed congregation has:
- Reduced their electric and gas consumption by 25%
- Had 1/3 of their congregation reduce their energy consumption at home.
- Provided a narrative on their energy conservation journey.
- Hosted at least one H-IPL workshop for neighboring congregations.
Cumberland First Baptist Church became one of Indiana’s first H-IPL Acclaimed Congregations. The effort was lead by H-IPL board chair and pastor, the Rev. T. Wyatt Watkins, It is the only one of our first five Acclaimed Congregations not to have participated in a solar grant. H-IPL helped negotiate large federal and state grants that were available to help a few Indiana congregations. H-IPL knows that thousands of congregations across the state would likewise benefit from energy conservation and renewable energy. (2018 Note: Federal and State grants for solar for congregations in Indiana are no longer available. Being a solar congregation is not a requirement to be an H-IPL Acclaimed Congregation.)
Cumberland First Baptist Church made a serious commitment to conserving electricity and natural gas in their facility. They met the 25% reduction of gas and electricity. Reducing both their carbon footprint and energy use.
Involving the Congregation
They also engaged their members in energy conservation and reduction at home using H-IPLs Task of the Month Program. (2018 Note: The Task of the Month Program is currently being revised.)
Pay It Forward
In addition, and very generously, they instigated a “pay it forward” system, helping a neighboring church, Eastgate Christian, to obtain solar panels in 2016. Even without a grant incentive, and without the tax credits that individuals and businesses receive, Cumberland First Baptist Church members estimated a 10-year payback period, meaning that over the 30-year life of the panels they will more than triple the investment made.
Cumberland First Baptist Church’s Green Team works hard to raise awareness about global warming and earth stewardship and supports actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions so that the worst effects of climate change can be averted.