Planned Giving

First United Methodist Church of Little Rock as created a program to promote a climate of generosity year-round in the church. In sowing these seeds, there is the promise of an ample harvest into the foreseeable future, as permanently endowed Faith Funds yield income for First Church and its ministries in perpetuity.

Your gift, when combined with the gifts of others in an endowed fund, is an investment that will continue to grow and to create support for the future of First Church. No gift is too small. It is a testament to your faith. We stand ready to meet with you in person or by telephone, to answer your questions, or to study and pray with you or other family members or advisers, as you see fit. You may want to talk with your own professional advisers about your will and the potential federal estate tax benefit of a charitable bequest. Remember that the resources and staff of First United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Foundation are available to help church members.

Contact the Finance Manager, Sonja Taylor Larkowski (stlarkowski@fumclr.org).

Giving Guide

A Guide: How to Give and What to Give.

As you prayerfully consider leaving a bequest or making a current gift to endowed Faith Funds at First Church, please consider the Biblical guide to tithe (10%) while we are living, and consider applying it to your giving after death. Here are some facts and information about planning your giving so that you take your financial support to another level.

•  Gifting assets outright – options include cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance policies, and certain other assets to make a current gift to benefit any of the existing FUMC endowments. Or you may choose to create a new endowment fund in your name or that of a loved one, for the support of ministries and programs that fit the mission of FUMC.

•  Creating a life income gift to the church is a creative way to make a deferred gift while living, but benefit from additional annual income. This type of gift is in the form of a trust or gift annuity. Upon your death, the remainder of the property becomes a gift bequest to FUMC.

•  Making a bequest through simple changes to your will allows you to make a gift upon your death to an existing endowment, or to create a named endowment with a specific purpose. The bequest can be a specific dollar amount, a specific property or asset, a percentage of your estate, or by naming FUMC to receive the residue of your estate – the portion left after the expenses of administering your estate have been paid and all other bequests have been distributed.

Planned Giving Facts

IS GOD’S WILL IN YOUR WILL?

First Church has a long and great history of members choosing to leave a bequest to the church in their wills. These gifts can either create new named funds or add to “Faith Fund” endowments which are permanently invested. Active members generally make annual giving to the church a priority while living. Few people, however, think about what their last gift will be, and no one knows when he or she will die. However, through leaving a bequest, one can make a “First Promise” for his or her “Last Gift.” And the last gift, if made to a permanently endowed fund, will assure a stream of income, an annual gift to First Church, in perpetuity.

A Guide for How to Give and What to Give:

As you prayerfully consider leaving a bequest or making a current gift to endowed Faith Funds at First Church, please consider the Biblical guide to tithe (10%) while we are living, and consider applying it to your giving after death. Here are some facts and information about planning your giving so that you take your financial support to another level.

•  Gifting assets outright – options include cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance policies, and certain other assets to make a current gift to benefit any of the existing FUMC endowments. Or you may choose to create a new endowment fund in your name or that of a loved one, for the support of ministries and programs that fit the mission of FUMC.

•  Creating a life income gift to the church is a creative way to make a deferred gift while living, but benefit from additional annual income. This type of gift is in the form of a trust or gift annuity. Upon your death, the remainder of the property becomes a gift bequest to FUMC.

•  Making a bequest through simple changes to your will allows you to make a gift upon your death to an existing endowment, or to create a named endowment with a specific purpose. The bequest can be a specific dollar amount, a specific property or asset, a percentage of your estate, or by naming FUMC to receive the residue of your estate – the portion left after the expenses of administering your estate have been paid and all other bequests have been distributed.

Management and Oversight of Endowed Faith Funds:

The Board of Trustees is charged with the management of all endowed funds established through First Church. The Planned Giving Director works closely with the Senior Pastor, the Church Administrator and the Finance Director to monitor the investment of these funds, which are entrusted to the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas for management. It is one of the largest statewide Methodist Foundations in the country. The investments provide annual distributions which help assure a great future for this historic church and its ministries which are “downtown for good.”

Non-Endowed Faith Funds:

Members may choose to make gifts, either memorial or honoraria, to any of several Faith Funds which are not endowed. They are maintained separately from the annual budget and provide additional funds for specific purposes.

1.  Landscaping and Beautification Fund:  these funds underwrite a careful plan to create and maintain a vital and attractive campus environment for First Church as a point of pride for members as well as for the downtown Little Rock community.

2.  Stained Glass Windows Preservation Fund:  the magnificent, historic stained glass windows which grace the sanctuary and chapel of First Church are more than 100 years old. Recently the south windows of the sanctuary underwent a detailed and expensive restoration to preserve them for the future. Funds are needed so that the other windows can undergo similar a restoration process.

3.  College Scholarship Fund:   It is very helpful when members of First Church
can apply for scholarship support while in college, graduate school, or seminary. Currently there are very limited funds for this great need.

4.  John Woodruff Fellowship for Social Change: After the death of beloved
church member John Woodruff, an endowed fund was established in his name to support an internship program to foster social change.  The fund is not yet large enough to fund an intern each year, so this separate, non-endowed fund will allow this vital program to take place even as gifts to the endowment are requested.

5.  Annual Lecture Program:  Funds in the name of the late Dr. Aubrey Walton, that helped cover the costs of an annual lecture series. It is hoped that someday a bequest will create a new, named lecture fund. In the meantime, gifts can be directed to this non-endowed fund to launch a vita, informative, and inspiring annual lecture program.

FAITH FUNDS AS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO GIVE MEMORIALS OR HONORARIA, BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY, AND MOTHER’S AND FATHER’S DAY GIFTS:

As a way to simplify their lives and reduce consumerism, some members choose to let family members know that gifts to any of the Faith Funds are welcomed in their names, rather than purchased gifts. Notification of these gifts are sent as appropriate.

Recognition for those who leave bequests or make planned gifts: Through the First Promise Bequest Society, members allow their names to be recognized in order to serve as a witness to encourage others to consider making a bequest. Names of members, both living and dead, who have made such bequests or promised them, are listed elsewhere on the website, in the planned giving brochure, and are displayed in the church.

How to learn more about planned giving:

It is easy to schedule a meeting with Planned Giving Director Pat Lile. Just email her at lilepm@sbcglobal.net or call her at 501-221-1317 or cell, 501-231-9594. If appropriate, the resources and staff of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas (UMFA) are available at no charge to members wishing to discuss making a planned gift. In addition, a “Provide and Protect” seminar is offered by UMFA and FUMC periodically at the church, at which members receive a complimentary copy of the book by that title. The UMFA website offers a form to simplify the will-planning process. Click here to link to that website www.umfa.org.

Foundation Faith Funds

Most Foundation Faith Funds are permanently invested endowment funds given by members as an act of faith in the future of First United Methodist Church. There are a number of endowed funds that have been established by action of the Board of Trustees or by individual members. Through the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, the principal of all FUMC endowed funds is invested to produce annual income. Although gifts are encouraged to any of the individual endowments or to create new endowed funds, there is a particular focus on building the two perpetual endowment funds established by the Board of Trustees:

(1) The Perpetual Endowment Fund: distributions from this fund are typically used to fund non-operating budget expenditures such as capital improvements, as approved by the Board of Trustees.

(2) The Child Development Center Endowment Trust Fund: distributions from this perpetual fund are used for projects recommended by the CDC Council and approved by the Board of Trustees.

A gift to one of these Faith Funds is a wonderful way to honor or to memorialize a loved one, for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s Days.

Bequest Society

First Promise Bequest Society

A number of First Church members have promised to include a bequest to First Church in their wills. Several others have also taken this step, but prefer to remain anonymous. Please talk with Dr. Mattox or Pat Lile if you have left a bequest or if you would like to discuss making such a gift. At this time, those who have agreed to let their names be used as an encouragement and witness to others include the following faithful stewards:

  • Martha and Sam* Sowell
  • Richard Butler, Jr
  • Carl Miller, Jr.
  • Bob Kinzel
  • Pat and John Lile
  • Lee and Bob Cress
  • Connie and Bill Bowen
  • Dr. Lamar Riggs
  • Mary Lou and Terry Rasco
  • Flo and Jim Deer

* Deceased