As a child of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I’m thrilled to come home, so to speak, and serve as the next Director of Church Campaign Services. Bob Kukla has been instrumental in establishing CCS as a resource to the Presbyterian Church and beyond. God put him in the right place at the right time, as his professional experience as a business leader and his strong faith were exactly what was needed over the last 20 years.
Bob sold his printing business in 1997 and joined Church Campaign Financial Services of PCUSA as a per diem consultant. Having grown up in Stewardship and Capital Campaigns of his home church, First Presbyterian Wheaton, a 1,500 member church in the Chicago suburbs, his pastor encouraged him to serve the “larger” churches in the denomination. Bob insisted on doing so as a true professional, and completed a certificate Fundraising Management program at DePaul University in Chicago.
What began as an intention to serve the church as a part timer grew into a second career traveling the US assisting congregations in raising major funds with congregations of 26 members to 2,600 members. Following the crisis of 2008 Bob was asked to apply his business skills to re-structuring CFCS since all campaigns were suspended during the initial phases of the recession. Within six months CFCS was producing operating surpluses once again, and the organization was streamlined and geared for business in the next century.
After assisting approximately 6,000 congregation campaigns and raising $1 billion for mission and ministry, it was again time for change. Bob began an LLC named Church Campaign Services with staff and resources transferring from the denomination. Linda Valentine and Karen Schmidt of the denomination gave Bob their full support with the promise that the denomination would always support our efforts to serve the greater church. In addition, Bob and the staff agreed that they would support the congregations and do so at fee levels that allowed the churches to grow and hold true to being good resources of member contributions.
Today, we still uphold those same values – capital campaign consulting services that are customized for each unique congregation, leveraging lay leadership in campaigns that provides for long-term stewardship gains, and offering the wisdom of 70 years of capital campaigns at a reasonable cost.
Rev. Michael Erwin