New health insurance offered to all Church of Christ leaders

Posted December 19, 2007

Beginning January 1, all Church of Christ leaders will have the option to purchase health insurance through Churchwide Healthcare. Through the efforts of the newly formed Christian Leaders Benefit Alliance (CLBA), an affordable healthcare benefits package will now be available to provide insurance to Church of Christ ministers, K-12 schools, missionaries, non-profit organizations and Church support staff, as well as Christian colleges and universities that are affiliated with Churches of Christ.

"This is a real need in our brotherhood, and we are excited that we are now able to offer a solution," said Dr. Charles Siburt, vice president for church relations at ACU and leader of the CLBA. "We are pleased to announce that the first benefit available to CLBA participants is nationwide Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance. The plan, administered by Churchwide Healthcare, has been in existence for more than 35 years. Dental coverage will also be available."

To assist in membership services, the CLBA has retained the services of Good Stewards and Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. to manage the relationship between the CLBA and Churchwide Healthcare, a service offered to members of the Stone-Campbell heritage by the Disciples of Christ.

Along with Siburt, other members of the CLBA leadership team include Ron Holifield, president of Good Stewards, Jon Mullican, executive minister at Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas, and Roland Orr, elder at the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene.

"After researching insurance companies and plans, we quickly discovered there were really only two viable options," said Siburt. "Those seeking insurance can work to create their own self-insured group, which could require start-up fees adding up to more than $1 million; or ministry leaders could join an existing group."

More than 1,800 leaders expressed interest in the insurance options, and a focus group of prospective participants agreed that joining an existing group would serve their needs best. After extensive research, the CLBA met with Churchwide Healthcare leaders.

"The advantages of joining this particular insurance plan are numerous," said Siburt. "Churchwide Healthcare is a longstanding, reputable insurance program that is both stable and well-organized. We are pleased with this new collaborative arrangement."

To learn more about the coverage, the rates and the enrollment process, visit the CLBA website at