Generations of Tradition and Support
That the generation to come might know,
even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children”
Our Church has a wonderful Christian heritage that is shared by many families. These families have donated their time and talents to many areas of the Church, including generous support of the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation. There are many families of First Church that have made distinctive marks on the Foundation. In my last blog, I wrote about Dr. Judge Lyle, one of the fine men of faith and works who helped create your Foundation.
The current Board of Directors has an inseparable link to our Church’s past, as well, with Church members who are closely involved at present and no doubt will be an integral part of the Foundation’s future. For example, two current Board members, Kenneth H. Jones, Jr., left, and Earl Cox, III, are parts of families that have been active in our Church for many years. Dr. Frank P. Culver, grandfather of current board member Kenneth H. Jones, Jr., was the Senior Pastor of our Church from 1917 through 1921. In fact, Dr. Culver delivered the first religious broadcast in Texas on radio station WBAP. Kenneth’s grandparents, mother and father (Kenneth H. and Nancy Culver Jones), and his aunt and uncle (Judge and Mrs. Frank P. Culver, Jr.) were long-time members of First Church. Kenneth H. Jones, Jr. and his wife, Ann, are long-standing members of the Church. They contributed a generous gift to the Foundation in honor of Kenneth’s mother. Our Church library is now called The Nancy Culver Jones Library.
Three generations of the Cox family have been pillars in the Church and the Foundation, too: Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Cox; Mr. and Mrs. R. Earl Cox, Jr.; and Kay and Earl Cox, III. Earl Cox, III, his father and grandfather all served as Chairmen of the Church’s Official Board. Roscoe Earl Cox, Sr., was chairman of the 1941 Debt Reduction Campaign and served on the Church’s Plate Committee for over 35 years. R. E Cox, Jr. was one of the founders of the Foundation. Current member Earl Cox, III, at right, served as an usher at the same door for nearly six decades.
This continuum provides a stability and strength within our Foundation. As families maintain active involvement from generation to generation, we continue to benefit from their tradition of generosity, selflessness and dedication. Such generosity actually extends beyond the generations because of our unique structure at the Foundation. Gifts to our Foundation endowment come from people who love our great Church and have seen a way to extend their Church giving beyond their lifetimes. As legacy donors to the Foundation, they have made it possible for their gifts to keep giving. It’s almost as if they are continuing to write a check to the Church every year because their original gift to the Foundation is still intact, producing annual income for the Church.
That income over the years has become more and more substantial. In 2015, the Foundation will release over $2 million to the Church for the Church to use as it deems necessary and important. That equates to over $5000 every single day of the year.
Many families are seeing their legacies at work for First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. We are grateful for their enduring model of philanthropy. We anticipate sharing more stories about the Founding Board members and about the families of Foundation Directors currently serving on our board. Watch for future blogs that reflect this tradition of generational support, further illustration of the inextricable connection of our Church and its Foundation.