Creating a Legacy of Mission and Ministry
For almost 175 years, First Baptist Church of Knoxville has served its city with distinction. For generations, First Baptist has loved kids, trained youth, engaged college students, and discipled adults so that they might grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The fact that you hold this sheet in your hand testifies that you are a part of this church’s story and are considering some next steps in your life and giving.
Across the breadth of the Old Testament, we hear that it all belongs to God and that as stewards of God’s blessings we are to give. We also learn about giving born in obedience. In the New Testament, the language grows to help us understand that how we give is a reflection of our heart and faith. We listen as Jesus teaches during the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6) that we are to make sure that we store up treasures in heaven, rather than storing up treasures on earth where rust and vermin can destroy it. We hear Paul teach in 2 Corinthians 9: 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. The New Testament invites us to a model of giving born in joy and lived out in generosity. Thank you for the generosity you have shown over the course of your life and for your participation in the life of this great church family. Thank you for your faithfulness and for entering into this time of reflection and consideration.
The church has created a multitude of ways where your gift can be joined with the gifts of others to provide a legacy of mission and ministry for years to come. The various options are noted below. Please read over each option and make the decision that best reflects your heart and your particular places of passion.
Undesignated Estate Gift
When an individual notes First Baptist Church of Knoxville as a recipient of an estate gift without a specific designation, the gift is distributed equally into four channels. Twenty-five percent (25%) is distributed to the Church Endowment, whose ongoing income is used to meet facilities related needs; twenty-five percent (25%) is distributed to the Mission Endowment, whose ongoing income is used to help empower the church’s missions endeavors; twenty-five percent (25%) is distributed for use by the Facilities Committee, where it is used to meet the highest priority facility needs; and the final twenty-five percent (25%) is distributed for use by the Finance Committee, where it is used to meet the highest priority needs emerging from across the life and ministry of the church. Previous gifts given through this channel have helped the church strengthen its missions engagement, addressed critical ministry needs and has helped to provide resources to update our church facilities.
Touching the Next Generation
First Baptist Church has made a commitment to serve as a teaching church. Some of the tools we have used in the past have been student internships and directed scholarships. These tools have allowed several to discern and follow God’s call into ministry. Other students have claimed a life-long passion for a walk with Jesus. We will soon begin our next step designed to touch the next generation of ministers. A two-year residency program will bring seminary graduates to our church to hone their ministry skills and discern God’s next steps for them.
Below are existing accounts created to help our church teach and empower the next generation.
- The Helen Cox Memorial Music Scholarship: This is currently an underfunded scholarship fund that allows our church to have a significant impact on college students’ lives. The funds from this scholarship are used to provide three to six scholarships per semester for music students to participate in our music ministry. This semester we have four scholarship students participating in your sanctuary choir and working with our children’s choirs. Two other students are participating in the First Community Praise Team and are working with your youth music expressions.
- The Money Scholarship: This scholarship provides a grant each semester to students related to First Baptist Church of Knoxville who are pursuing a seminary degree. The task of this scholarship is to help call out and prepare the next generation of Baptist ministers. This scholarship fund requires additional funding to allow us to better support students pursuing seminary education.
- Internship Fund: We currently fund semester internships for our children’s ministry, youth ministry and young adult and communication ministries. Our hope is to grow the number of the internships we can provide. Gifts to this fund will allow us to expand the number of students that we can engage each year in ministry.
- First Baptist Knoxville Residency Program: This is the newest opportunity to impact the lives of students pursuing a call in ministry. We will offer a two year post-seminary learning and serving residency experience. A recent study showed that almost 20% of seminary graduates leave ministry in their first five years. The residency program will allow students to hone their craft and grow in their capacity as a minister in a safe learning environment that will prepare them for a long life in ministry. The residency model will also include a unique urban experience that will help prepare them for meaningful transformational service in urban congregational contexts.
In 2001, the church established a Missions Endowment for the express purpose of enhancing its capability to engage our community and the world in the name of Jesus Christ. The current value of this endowment is $217,600 with an initial goal to reach one million dollars in principal. Its proceeds have helped to send students on missions trips and empowered the church’s work with local missions partners. This is a place where an estate gift could have a long term Kingdom impact.
The McGinley Fund also creates an interesting model for a larger estate gift. The McGinley Fund was established as a terminal gift where the church is to spend its balance over the course of a specified period of time. This has encouraged the church to look for creative, immediate options for missions and ministry. Over the defined term, hundreds upon hundreds of people will be inspired and refreshed by this gift. Your gift could provide a similar opportunity for mission and ministry to our church family.
Sustaining Our Presence
In January of 1995, the church established the Church Endowment to ensure the long term care of our great church facilities. The Church Endowment is to be used for capital improvements, repairs and maintenance. Income is reinvested into principal until/unless FBC instructs otherwise. The Endowment Board consists of five voting members: Chair of Deacons, Chair of Finance, and three at-large. Two ex-officio members are Chair of Facilities and an appointed staff member. The current balance of the Church Endowment is $ 635,200. The goal is to continue to grow the principal to at least one million dollars to increase the impact of the Endowment’s annual income proceeds. This Endowment ensures our church’s continuing legacy of ministry on Main Street.
We are truly grateful to those who have already chosen to remember First Baptist Church of Knoxville in their Wills, and if you are considering a bequest or other estate gift, thank you. Every gift of every size will make a real difference. If you would like more information on how to include the church and/or one of these endowments, scholarships, or funds in your Will, please contact the church office. Bob Calloway, the Chair of our Finance Committee and our leading voice in planned giving, will be pleased to work with you, your family, and your advisers.
The ministries begun through your gift will resonate in Jesus’ name around the world and for eternity.