This mission of the Baptist Church has always relied on the faith and generosity of individual donors. By establishing their charitable giving goals through the foundation, their legacies take various forms. You’ll see four individual “real life” stories below.
With careful planning, a beloved property becomes a legacy.
A beloved family farm in Spotsylvania County represents a host of rich memories for Joyce Story Ailstock – and one day will also support her retirement and the ongoing work of three non-profits that are special to her. Her grandparents began the farm in 1895, and passed it on to Joyce’s father. He had speculated in a business that resulted in his bankruptcy, and the farm was put up for auction in 1957, when Joyce was only 22- years- old.
Remarkably, she won the auction and kept the farm, and she says, “I knew that it was God providing.” Joyce moved to Alexandria after her marriage, but regularly visited the farm over the years to see to its maintenance. And in recent years, she has worked with the Virginia Baptist Foundation to make the farm a part of her legacy. By setting up a charitable remainder annuity trust, she’ll receive a fixed income for the rest of her life from the sale of the property. And upon her passing, three charities that are important to her will receive payouts from the trust. With her plans in place, she now says, “This has been a long process … I had to trust God and have faith that this was the right thing.”
A grateful scholarship recipient begins a mission of healing in God’s name.
Caleb Vass was a patient of Dr. Gary Kuiken as he was growing up in Floyd, Virginia. He became interested in family medicine and began to “shadow” Dr. Kuiken. Through that experience, Caleb learned that family medicine is a mission field in its own right. And that led him to participate in medical mission trips to Central America while he was involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries as a student at UVA-Wise.
Now, Caleb has completed an osteopathic manipulation fellowship and has begun rotations. With his scholarship-supported education, he has a clear mission in life. “My ultimate goal is to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and do all that is within my ability to heal the sick, looking to God, the Great Physician,” he says.
Supporting a mission of wide-reaching philanthropy.
A walk around the lovely, well-groomed 28-acre homestead of Don and Aileen Pitts immediately gives you a glimpse of a lifetime of hard work, and a life-long commitment to good works. The beautiful property and Pitts Pond are just part of a ministry that sees thousands of visitors each summer and hundreds of baptisms, too. And that’s just one part of the lifetime of philanthropy the Pitts have taken part in.
Along the way, they also discovered the advantages of a donor-advised fund, which allowed them to give even more to their favorite charities. They had heard of the Virginia Baptist Foundation at church, and began their fund with a gift of stock, to which they added profits from their real estate business over the years. Don said, “A lot of wealth can be funneled into good use. The blessing is that you can give so much more.” Even at Don’s passing through his donor-advised fund, he has continued supporting their church – Salem Baptist — and organizations like the Gideons, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse and many more local and international groups. Their partnership with the foundation has multiplied their gifts and distributed them around the globe.
A mission-focused church extends its work in the community.
Formed in 1841, the Manly Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, VA has always been deeply involved in mission work. Members have served in South America, on Indian reservations in South Dakota, and with the military in hostile countries. In 2014, members of the church voted to establish an endowment fund with a very local mission.
Joel Snow is the chair of the seven-person committee that oversees the endowment. He explained, “The focus has been on our ministries, especially in the community, in our neighborhood.” The first disbursements helped provide meals for an evening Vacation Bible School. “The endowment fund did exactly wat it was designed to do – support new projects until routine financing could be available,” said Joel. The stewardship committee of the church has since taken over support, so the endowment recently funded a community movie night to draw and welcome neighborhood families.
Working with the Virginia Baptist Foundation, the first funds were turned over for management in 2014, and the endowment has been designed to support the church in perpetuity. The principal will always be maintained and added to, and only income from investments will be distributed. In May, 2016 the endowment was expanded to an additional mission.
“The church this year celebrated its 175th Anniversary,” said Joel. “There was a fundraising event, and it was more successful than we had imagined.” As a result, half of the funds raised were set aside in a new sub-fund for facilities maintenance. “The long-term vision is to create enough income to cover the church’s buildings and grounds budget,” Joel said. “We hope that over time, people will think about designating the endowment in their wills, or contributing old life insurance policies, and those proceeds could build a tremendous legacy.”