So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Tradition, a word derived from the Latin trader or traderer, literally means to transmit, to hand over or to give for safekeeping.
Fifty one years ago this September, a group of leaders at our Church, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth (FUMCFW), recognized a need to have a place for safekeeping the longevity of our Church and founded an endowment. The endowment could provide financial stability for the long term. It was 1964. With just $2500 in initial donations, these leaders formed the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, an entity that today has assets sufficient to contribute in excess of $2500 a day to FUMCFW (2015 year to date) for facilities maintenance, renovation, expansion ministries and programs.
Your Foundation both “gives” and “safekeeps.” That’s because all funds donated to the Foundation’s endowment remain intact: only income generated through investment of donated funds is released to the Church for its use. Imagine this: because of generous donations that the Foundation has in safekeeping, since 1964 our Church has received income exceeding $46 million dollars from the Foundation.
Let’s take a look at what happens with Foundation investment income when it goes to the Church. As an example, during just the past 12 months, the Foundation has provided funds that the Church has used for projects such as:
$ 400,000 Church general operating budget support
$ 538,476 Renovations associated with the Paup Organ
$ 257,739 Sanctuary renovations
$ 61,384 Church staff computer updates
$ 46,000 Security personnel for the Church
$ 16,140 Lighting retrofit, main Church building
$ 7,000 Funds Ballard Series devoted to art, music and education for our children, youth and families
$ 7,000 Bess Broderick Series that brings outstanding musicians and artists to our Church
$ 11,833 Renovations of room #350 in the main Church
$ 11,618 Justin building renovations
$ 5,000 Christmas decorations for the Sanctuary
$ 4,600 Sanctuary stained glass repair
It’s quite a list. Today, as it has been during the entire five decades since our Foundation was officially formed, the Foundation commitment to our Church remains unwavering.
Fortunately, every year our Foundation continues to grow. This growth makes a difference in our Church and for our entire community. If you have made a gift to the Foundation or included the Foundation in your estate plans, we say a heartfelt Thank You! And if you are considering making a gift and have questions, please contact me at 817/339-5072. There is a Lunch Information Session scheduled every month, as well. Please join us. Let’s continue our Tradition of Support together, always to benefit First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Texas.
This article is the third in a series illustrating the inextricable connection of the Foundation and the Church. Our goal is clear understanding that the Foundation’s sole focus and beneficiary is First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, has it has been for over 50 years. We want to assure transparency in communications and are here to address questions about why the Foundation exists and how it operates in the best interest of our Church. We hope you enjoy the messages.
Executive Director of First Methodist Church Foundation, Inc.