Blessed To Be a Blessing
“Most Christians are familiar with the term ‘blessed to be a blessing’. It refers to the fact that God has blessed us, and He desires for us to bless others as well. The actual reference is from the Biblical story of Abraham entering into a covenant with God, who told Abraham that he would bless Abraham and would bless the nations through Abraham and his offspring. We know this was faithfully accomplished through Jesus, in the lineage of Abraham….” (Jimmy Aycock, International Leadership Institute, Devotional-October 15, 2021This blessing began in 1986, with Charles (Charlie) R. Brown, Frances (Fran) C. Waser and Michael (Mike) K. Pratt. The Foundation was formerly established by a Trust Agreement signed on April 4, 1986, almost 37 years ago. The purpose of the Foundation was “to undergird the growing ministries of our Church”. The members of the first Advisory Committee were Charlie Brown, Harry Hill, Don Myracle, Bryan Padrick, Vicky Pratt, Lib Provence and Fran Waser. The first Trustees of the Foundation were Ray Simmons, Robert (Buddy) W. Melton and Gilbert (Gil) F. Coan, Sr. The priority of the Foundation was to build up unrestricted funds for an endowment that would allow us to respond to emerging needs and ministries of the Church beyond the Annual Operating Budget. Establishing an endowment meant accumulating gifts and investing in growth and income. Only the income from these funds would be available for use. We began with $1,000.
Looking back over the Minutes from the last 36 years, the Foundation has experienced a lot of growing pains; slow moving at first, benefitting from small individual gifts and estate distributions. An incredible number of talented Saints in our church carried on, served on the board, publicized our cause and prayed us through. We were able to finally make our first grants in 2004.
This is where the “blessed to be a blessing” comes in. At the end of 2022, the Foundation has paid out grants totaling $734,820. Our grants have provided funds for church needs and beautification, domestic and international mission, local and regional charities, Christian Education and witness and evangelism. With God’s blessing, we have been able to advance funds to establish FUMC’s Memorial Garden (Columbarium), make a pledge of $267,000 (paid over 5 years) to our Generation-to-Generation
In addition to our unrestricted funds, the Foundation has 3 restricted funds: (1) Jim and Annette Furr Fund for Boy Scout High Adventure Travel (Philmont Ranch and Sea Base), (2) Peggy Hina Fund for supporting endeavors in Christian Education and Spiritual Formation (including those pursuing Christian education careers) and (3) Mission Endowment Fund that is anticipating making its first grant in 2023.
As we celebrate 150 years of Brevard First United Methodist Church in ministry and 37 years of First United Methodist Church Foundation-Brevard also in ministry, let us continue to be grateful for our many blessings and continue to share them with others in our church, community, country and world. Thanks be to God!