A Record-Breaking Year of Funding Kingdom Work 

During the final weeks of 2023, the WatersEdge trust team worked diligently to finalize yearly distributions. The total number was a testament to God’s overwhelming favor throughout a tumultuous year: a record 25×25 distribution of $35.2 million to partner ministries impacting the Kingdom.   

“Every category we track for 25×25 purposes saw significant increases last year — endowment distributions, donor advised fund distributions, and interest paid on ministry deposits,” David Depuy, President of WatersEdge Advisors and Chief Investment Officer, says. “It was especially gratifying for our endowment distributions to increase 5.2% in a year when many institutions had to lower distributions, due to negative investment returns in 2022.”   

“25×25” is the name given to a vision first articulated in 2013, a God-sized goal to distribute $25 million to ministries annually by the year 2025. At the time, the most WatersEdge had ever distributed in a calendar year was $12 million. The 2023 record marks the fifth total time that WatersEdge has met or exceeded the $25 million threshold and the first time the goal has been met in three consecutive years. It is because of God’s grace we have been able to continue accomplishing our mission: financially empowering ministries to transform lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   

The ability of WatersEdge to continue breaking records even during down markets has been another cause for celebration and evidence of God’s favor.   

“The financial environment has been challenging, to be sure,” Depuy says. “It’s in times like these that I’m grateful WatersEdge has a diversified service offering that provides stability to our beneficiaries.”   

25×25 distributions are made from various sources, including multiple charitable giving vehicles WatersEdge offers. Two categories were especially strong in 2023: donor advised funds and endowments. About 1,100 DAF distributions were sent to 285 charitable beneficiaries, while endowment distributions were sent to an additional 400 beneficiaries. Most of these recipients are Southern Baptist ministries that focus on changing lives with the Gospel. They include churches, seminaries, Christian universities, children’s homes, missions organizations, and many more.  A Visual Explanation of 25x25 Distribution in 2023

The commitment of WatersEdge to Oklahoma Baptist life shines through in these distribution numbers, as $13.7 million of the distributed funds went directly to the four Oklahoma Baptist entities: Oklahoma Baptist University, Baptist Village Communities, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, and Oklahoma Baptists — and that number doesn’t include the millions of dollars distributed throughout the year in support of local churches, which is another testament to the faithfulness of the individuals and families who give with WatersEdge.   

While each new year presents challenges, WatersEdge staff is confident in their position to meet 2024’s obstacles and continue to provide life-changing funds to Kingdom work.   

“I wish we could predict those challenges,” Depuy says. “What we’re tracking most closely is the potential for a recession in 2024. We’re not predicting one, but if it should happen, we’ll see lower interest rates on cash and income-oriented securities and diminished earnings on equity securities. That said, the largest single component of our 25×25 distributions comes from endowments, and our policy is to increase the distribution of every account each year by the level of inflation. And historically, the investment portfolio performs very well in challenging environments.”   

We at WatersEdge are pleased to be able to continue our mission into 2024 and beyond.