September 23, 2021 | by Jim Patterson
Barbara Boigegrain, top executive of Wespath Benefits and Investments, addresses the 2020 Pre-General Conference Briefing in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.
Photos of happy Congolese United Methodists posing with their brightly painted homes are some of Barbara Boigegrain’s favorite keepsakes from her 27 years as the top executive of Wespath Benefits and Investments.
As she contemplates her retirement at the end of 2021 from the position entrusted with the safe investment of the pensions of more than 100,000 United Methodists and 130 United Methodist-affiliated institutions, there are many accomplishments to reflect upon. But starting a pension program from scratch that aims to bring a financially secure retirement to United Methodist clergy in Africa is special to her.
“That really was building something from nothing,” said Boigegrain, the daughter of a United Methodist pastor. “And now we have people who not only have food and access to medicine, but help for their grandchildren.”
In Congo, many homes are constructed of mud bricks with thatched roofs. Heavy rains can wash those homes away.
“If it's painted, coated, then it stands up longer,” Boigegrain said. “Being able to paint your home makes all the difference in the world about its sustainability.”