Legacy Ministry Training Gives Monroe First UMC a Roadmap to Success


What do Monroe First UMC, Jefferson First UMC and Midway UMC (Alpharetta) have in common? These three churches are the first to take advantage of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s recently developed Self-Directed Legacy Ministry Training option.

To date, 39 churches with membership sizes ranging from very small to large have participated in this program, which helps churches establish and promote their endowments. Nancy Young, GUMF’s Director of Planned Giving Services, explains the three different Legacy Ministry Training options that are available to churches.

“Option 1 provides online training where four churches participate in a 45-minute interactive webinar each month for 12 months,” Nancy said. “Option 2 is Self-Directed, enabling team members to view our 45-minute training modules and complete any homework at their convenience. Option 3 offers a Consultant-Directed approach where a GUMF staff member meets with the team on a regular basis to walk through each step of the program.”

Monroe First UMC in Monroe enrolled in the Legacy Ministry program following the recommendation of its Finance Committee.

“GUMF is a great organization! The Legacy Ministry program will allow people to leave money in their wills to the Church and also provide a way for people to donate to an endowment during their lifetime,” said Bob Hamilton, Finance Committee Chair of Monroe First UMC. “We’ve got lots of great things in the works, like a building program, but it takes money to keep the vision of the Church alive. The endowment will help us grow, help provide for additional ministries to serve our community, and will enable us to be financially sound in the long-term.”

The Church’s planned giving initiative is being led by Legacy Foundation Committee Co-Chairs Lee Preston and Joyce C. Stevens, members Claude and Mary Bates, Charles (Chip) Ferguson, Ken Kilgore, and John Sorrells, and Senior Minister, Rev. Dane Wagner.

“Pastor Dane Wagner and Bob Hamilton are great stewards of Monroe First UMC,” Preston said. “They inspire us to do whatever we can to insure the growth and success of the Church as we go forward.”

The new Self-Directed option offers church leadership several advantages. “The flexibility of scheduling meetings to gain 100 percent participation from committee members is the most important benefit, as well as completing the training in a time frame that benefits the Church,” Preston explained.

“This option also gives committee members more opportunities to provide feedback because they are not restricted by the time frame of the webinar,” Stevens added. “GUMF has put together this wonderful roadmap for churches to start a Legacy Program. It is so organized and offers lots of information for individual churches that don’t have the expertise or knowledge to put something like this together.”

Preston agrees. “If we strive to follow and complete the training as set forth by GUMF, it will mean great things for Monroe First UMC,” he said. “Besides creating personal awareness for my future and posterity, any foundation we can establish that will benefit future generations of the Church is spiritually fulfilling.”

For more information on the Legacy Ministry Training options available to churches, please contact Nancy Young, GUMF's Director of Planned Giving Services, at 678-708-6601 or nyoung@gumf.org or click "here." 

This article was originally published in the Winter 2016 edition of Faith & Money, a publication of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.