Making a Gift of a Lifetime – a Bequest to PHPC
Would it surprise you that many members of our congregation, those whose lives centered around PHPC, active in Sunday school, mission work, worship and yearly stewardship campaigns, died without taking advantage of the opportunity to make a bequest to PHPC in their will?
Each year PHPC members are asked for a pledge to the church in writing. Those yearly pledges keep the church’s vision and mission going. We don’t often mention legacy giving – naming the church in your will or trust. Isn’t it just as vital to pledge to the church at your death, to see your dreams for the church and future generations realized? Your passion, your pledge, a lasting gift to this church.
Death is the time when most people have the largest capacity to give. Actually, PHPC hasn’t received that many estate bequests over the years. Our alma maters seem to have a higher priority at death than our beloved church. The emphasis might reflect marketing since universities aren’t shy about repeatedly asking to be named in your will. Another reason is that almost 60% of the people who die in the U.S. each year do so without a valid will. Procrastination results in some people dying “intestate” (without a will). Some are also fearful that they don’t know how much wealth they will need during their lifetime, so they don’t know how much they can leave to their church. Since your willed pledge (bequest) doesn’t go into effect until you die, the opportunity always exists to update or revoke your church gift. Rest easy, my friends. You aren’t parting with your assets today, so let go of worry about running out of assets. You are in charge of balancing your generosity to the church with concerns about living expenses and loved ones.
Setting up your bequest to the church is easy. It’s just naming the church for a gift in your will. You might consider a certain percentage of your estate or a named item: a certain amount of cash, securities or property. You might prefer the greater or lesser of an amount of cash or property and a fixed percentage of your estate. You have flexibility in designing your bequest.
Here are just a couple of examples: Naming a bequest for the lesser of $25,000 or 10% of your estate. If your estate exceeded $250,000, the gift is limited to $25,000. If the value of your estate at death is $100,000, the gift to the church is limited to $10,000 (10%). For another example, if there is a minimum amount you know you want the church to receive, but you would like to increase it if your estate goes up in value, make a bequest for the greater of that minimum amount or a percentage of your total estate. In a bequest for the greater of $10,000 or 10% of your estate: if your assets grow to $1 million at death, the gift would increase to $100,000.
Why is your bequest important to PHPC? Your gift has the potential for big impact on the future ministry. Bequests become endowments for the church – invested funds that are managed by the PHPC Foundation, composed of elected church members. And remember, if you wish, the use of your endowment may be restricted based on your written desires as donor.
Maybe you or someone you know has benefitted from several of the bequests the church has received over the years. Do you listen to worship services via WRR? A 1985 bequest has helped pay for our WRR radio broadcasts. A bequest of a member’s home to PHPC in 1996 established the endowment that helps support the Pastor’s Fund each year. A gift of oil and gas properties received in 1997 to support capital projects at PHPC has been used (1) to reduce a portion of the Jubilee debt, (2) to fund a feasibility study for renovation of the north campus and (3) to establish a capital projects endowment. In 2001, a bequest of a personal home paid off another portion of the Jubilee debt. In 2005, a bequest established endowed funds in support of Springhill and a number of initiatives. PHPC received a large bequest in 2011 to fund music ministry. Those who enjoyed the orchestra at the 2012 Americana Concert might not have realized it was funded with earnings from this lasting gift for music.
The unrestricted bequests PHPC has received over the years, including one bequest received in 2012, along with unrestricted endowed lifetime gifts that have been received by the church now comprise the church’s unrestricted endowment of almost $1.5 million. The Foundation uses the earnings to broaden the effectiveness and ministry of this church.
Perhaps you or someone you know watch and worship online via the website. Thank the thoughtful giving of others: in 2012 a $40,000 grant by the Foundation purchased sanctuary installed equipment consisting of high definition video cameras, a video work station and new streaming provider. This enhanced video system is now in place to stream the broadcasts of our worship services and other important sanctuary events. Bequests from deceased members with generous hearts that helped fund this project are vital to PHPC’s evangelism. Wouldn’t it be wonderful that whenever the church experienced significant capital needs, like renovation of the north campus or starting a new flagship mission serving our community, there was no need for capital campaign funding because of endowed funds? You can help make that dream a reality.
Yes, members like you make the difference – in what you give today and in what you give via will or trust. Please take action now to ensure your lasting legacy to PHPC. If you don’t have a will, make one. Otherwise, the state of Texas will decide who gets your assets, and that omits our church and other ministries. If your will currently leaves out your PHPC bequest, please update it to include your desires to financially remember PHPC. Your will relates to all material things God has entrusted you with. It’s a powerful expression of your Christian faith. Whether it’s bigger or more modest, your church bequest comes together with others to further the mission of PHPC for generations to come.
If you would like more information about making a bequest to PHPC, please contact ________________.