About the CO+OP
While working together to produce the 1987 National Conference of the NACBA (National Association of Church Business Administration), a small group of administrators from several of the larger churches in the Houston area had the idea to join forces, approach their vendors, and ask for better prices.
Within a few weeks, some of their colleagues in other larger congregations got wind of the plan and asked to join them. Not long after that, they realized that if they would invite smaller churches and other ministries to join with them, they could all buy at prices they could not obtain on their own.
Operated by a Board of Directors, our CO+OP has been a 501(c)3 non-profit since 1988. See the names of those currently serving on the Board and contact them from our Board of Directors page.
Today our CO+OP serves more than 1,200 members all over Texas and across the country. More than 30 vendors participate. That the CO+OP is sustained all these years is testimony to the concept that was first put forward by the founders and the first Executive Director, Hal Machat. Later Hal was joined by Nalani Layhee. The two of them pioneered the CO+OP concept in the Houston metro area, in the Hill Country, in Dallas-Fort Worth, and beyond.
Every vendor commits to provide value not available to those outside the CO+OP. Over the years, their commitments have proven the promised benefits. Testimonies abound.
In 2002, when electricity was deregulated in Texas, then Executive Director, Larry Allen realized that there was significant opportunity to help churches save big dollars on the newly available electricity agreements. Literally millions of dollars have been saved by hundreds of ministries and been made available to be directed to other aspects of ministry since that work began.
Ric Hobscheid was hired in 2002 to represent our CO+OP in DFW. Charlotte Hughes was hired in 2010 to work in the Houston metro area. Experience counts. The two of them spend their days focused on how to help members and prospects find what they need and gain the greatest benefit available from our vendors.
In 2005, Dan Bishop began as Executive Director. The logo and branding were updated by building on the awareness that the CO+OP serves the Kingdom. Later that same year, the newsletter was changed to a quarterly publication and CO+OP Magazine became a reality. Patti Malott serves as Managing Editor.
In 2006, the annual church staff conference, which is co-sponsored by the Houston Metro NACBA Chapter, was enriched with the beginning of the Together We... themes. More speakers, more workshops, CO+OP Alley and a host of other innovative ideas make for a great day of food, fun, fellowship and learning. Today the Texas Ministry Conference in February each year is the place to learn for all church staff and laypeople.
Over the years, the CO+OP helps people save on big dollar items such as HVAC systems and maintenance, and on everyday items such as office supplies; on quick response items such as roof repair and coffee service, and on long-term expenses such as insurance, electricity, and construction.
Dollars are saved through lower prices. Time is saved because churches can count on the value of vendors already vetted by the CO+OP Board and other members. More dollars are saved with quality relationships and better service.
The CO+OP is an ombudsman to help. Relationships count.
Annually, the CO+OP produces the Texas Ministry Conference which is a day of learning and relaxing. Learn why people come back year after year to attend the workshops, enjoy the food and join the fun.