Endowing the Church's Future


Photo on left: Joyce Stevens, and her late husband, John, provided the seed money for Monroe First UMC to start an endowment committee.

When Monroe First UMC enrolled in the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s Legacy Ministry Training Program, they embarked on a journey to endow their church’s future. Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Dane Wagner and three committed Legacy Committee co-chairs share how this new opportunity to leave legacy gifts to the endowment fund will help carry on the work of the Church in perpetuity.

By Rev. Dr. Dane Wagner,
Monroe First UMC Senior Pastor

“I am very proud of the leadership of this church. Even in these uncertain times, they are still willing to move forward with the Legacy Ministry and Endowment Fund. This ministry is one of the best ways to ensure that the Church will continue as a lighthouse and steady source of God’s love and grace for their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and children not even born yet. It is a blessing to me to know that people love God, Jesus Christ, and the Church enough to leave a legacy for future generations. They have given of themselves and out of their estates to assure the viability and continuity of this church.”

By Joyce Stevens, Monroe First UMC Legacy Committee Co-Chair
“As John's health declined, and he forgot many things, the one thing he did not forget was our church contribution. He continued to write this check for as long as he could physically do so. John and I met with Bob Hamilton, the former finance chair, and Pastor Dane Wagner to discuss establishing an endowment committee. We decided to provide the seed money to our church to start our Legacy Committee using a charitable remainder unitrust scheduled to terminate in 2019. John passed away in 2016. My work with the committee is a tribute to his memory.”

By Bob Hamilton, Monroe First UMC Legacy Committee Co-Chair
“We partnered with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation because they have a proven track record of helping church’s set up a legacy program. The funds we invested with GUMF will provide a source of income that will go on forever to support the Church’s different needs. My wife, Beckie, and I made a cash contribution to the Legacy Ministry as well as a provision in my will to establish an endowment in our name to benefit the youth and children’s program. I became a Christian through a youth ministry at church. We want to do anything we can to support reaching the youth at our church.”

By Lee Preston, Monroe First UMC,
First Legacy Committee Co-Chair

“As the first co-chair of our Legacy Committee, I learned firsthand what potential benefits can be derived from building a church endowment. Leaving a legacy for future generations not only provides long-term financial stability for Monroe First UMC, but more importantly demonstrates that our church believes in its future. By creating an endowment and planned giving ministry, we create a framework for inviting others into lifelong comprehensive Christian stewardship. My wife, Amy, and I want to glorify God by participating in our church’s Legacy Ministry with a gift through our wills.”