Five Decades of Educational Support for First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth
“Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove that which is good, and acceptable, and perfect through the will of God.
— Romans 12:2
When some people say “Sunday School Class,” the immediate impression is a room full of children hearing Bible parables and singing memorable worship songs. At First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, that perception is just a beginning and then expands dramatically!
Sunday School is not just for little ones, but for Church members of every age, from preschool through senior citizens. And education at First United Methodist Church is not just a Sunday-only, school-framed effort, but an ongoing series of curricula that reach people in classrooms, the Justin Building, living rooms, coffee shops, in beautiful outdoor spaces, on a bus transporting our youth to visit other congregations and on trips to distant lands. Education at FUMC benefits from the thought leadership of our own distinguished clergy, emeritus clergy and professors from nearby colleges and universities, theologians with divergent approaches to the Gospel and more.
Much of this wealth of learning is enabled through Foundation funding. When donors contribute through legacy giving — wills, estates and trusts, for example — to the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, the Church receives earnings from these donations that go to the Church. The Church then decides the best ways to enable expansion of its remarkably broad, meaningful Christian education for adults, youth and children.
Every encounter seeks to further enhance spiritually and assure healthy worship experiences. The generous Foundation donor-supported educational curricula include, for example, the Ballard Series, the Broderick Series and the Goostree Lectures. These and other remarkable educational and cultural touch points greatly enrich our church congregation. Here are more:
• Through the Foundation, the Melissa Leighanne Dearden Memorial Bible Fund guarantees that each year, every FUMC third grader will receive his or her first Bible.
• The Foundation receives funds from the Sumner Confirmation Endowment which the church uses to provide valuable resources to our confirmation class. This funding every year ensures that children are learning the basics of Methodism and preparing for church membership.
• The Foundation provided seed money for the Children’s Quest program in 2000 and recently renovated the children’s area of the Church.
• Foundation funds provide for maintenance and upkeep of the church’s renowned, accredited Pre-School program.
• The Johnston Endowment for Youth Ministries provides for funds to our Youth ministry of the church.
• The Baker Scholarship Endowments award scholarships to those seeking higher education after graduation from high school.
• Funds provided by the Foundation assure that The Justin Youth Building is always maintained and refurbished.
What a blessing these thoughtful, generous families have been to our Church! Entrusting their treasure to the Foundation, donors reach out to our Board, who receives the donations and, through strategic and wise management, works diligently to make the best decisions so that the funds of the Foundation continue to grow and provide perpetual financial support for generations to come.
It’s thrilling to educate you about how the Foundation functions as an integral part of our wonderful church and its broad, engaging Christian education program. In many ways, these programs are as much a symbol of our progress, development and strength as are our Sanctuary, Wesley Hall, First Street Mission, the Justin Building and Lyle Lodge. As a result of our congregation’s generosity, education emerges as the backbone of our ministries.
If you’d like to learn more, please drop me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org), and let’s set a time to visit about the possibilities for funding future educational expansion at FUMC through the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation.
— Sid Johnston, Executive Director of FMC Foundation