In mid-December, Steve Fagan and I received an email that made us both smile. A member notified us that a stock transfer had been made to Merrill Lynch which resulted in a generous gift specifically designated for our Next90 campaign. To be honest, all gifts make me smile, but this gift truly exemplified an interesting legacy gift that supported our Next90 campaign vision.
The stock was originally owned by the donor’s mother who as a teenager participated in the walk-over to our present location. The “cherry on top” is that the donor is a life-long member having been baptized as an infant and going through confirmation within these sacred walls. Don’t you know that his mother is smiling down from heaven!
We also celebrate and greatly appreciate the $1,500,000 Next90 gift received in December from the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation. Established in 1964, the Foundation’s founding leaders’ vision was to provide a permanent endowment fund separate and apart from the regular operating budget of the church. In addition to this generous endorsement of Next90, First Church is very blessed to be the sole focus and beneficiary of the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation which annually gives several million dollars to the church for long-term operations and building maintenance.
We celebrate these two gifts and donors along with the additional 349 donors who to date have given over $4.5 million towards the campaign. Based on future commitments, we anticipate receiving an additional $2.5 million in commitment dollars as well as non-commitment gifts between now and March 2022.
I think it is worth noting that $2,085,065 of the $4.5M dollars received came in from individual households between the timeframe of March 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020; in other words, even when the church went to online worship and empty pews, the COVID-19 pandemic could not deter our First Church flock from looking towards the future, much like the fellow disciples who made the walk with our donor’s mother during a time of financial struggle following the 1929 stock market crash.
Next90 is much more than just renovating and enlarging our First Church campus. Next90 is about preparing for the future baptisms, confirmands, and transformation of lives in the years to come. It is about the continuation of the legacy of a vibrant downtown church that began over 146 years ago.
Pleases join me in celebrating these exciting days at First Church as we actively prioritize worship, children’s ministry, and hospitality as meaningful ways for growing God’s kingdom!
Again, I thank you for your generous endorsement of our vision and for investing in First Church’s future!
Together through Christ,
Director of Stewardship