The Legacy Journey
Frequently Asked Questions
I give money to the church faithfully every Sunday. Why does the church need an Endowment?
Simply put, every dollar that you give in the collection plate or through your annual pledge goes toward covering the operating expenses of the church. This includes everything from paying for the stoves our church members install in the poorest Guatemalan homes, to the costs of Buddy Break for mentally disabled children, to the monthy electric bill. Not one dollar of your annual pledge is allowed, by church doctrine, to maintain our buildings. Our church’s current investments provide some money to maintain the buildings; the rest we have to borrow.
Our church buildings are paid for…how much can it really cost to hold services on Sunday?
Our church buildings are not shrines…they are tools to nurture and grow Christianity. And they are some of the hardest working tools we have. The church is abuzz 7 days a week…not just on Sunday mornings. Our programs are extensive, serving needs from housing and feeding the homeless to the many, many outreach programs from Kenya to West Virginia, to our enviable and extensive programming for youth, to name just a few. Our facility is 125 years old. While a new roof on your home may cost $5,000, a new roof for the church can cost over $100,000. The projected cost to cover just our basic maintenance needs is over $200,000 per year.
We’ve done okay up until now…why aren’t our current investments enough to keep us going?
Our current investments generate $81,000 per year to defray our capital expenses. Our costs are currently over $200,000 per year. Pastor Scott invests a great deal of his time, energy and creativity to meeting the basic maintenance needs of the church, but he frequently must resort to a short-term patch for a problem, deferring maintenance; when maintenance can no longer be deferred or there is no available patch, he borrows the money. By funding the Legacy Endowment to $10,000,000, we can insure that all the capital needs of the church will be covered not only today…but forever.
I’m not sure I want to make a gift for things like repairing the roof. Wouldn’t it be better if I gave to one of the church’s outreach programs?
In many ways, a gift to the Legacy Endowment is the ultimate gift you can make. First, it is a gift that will continue to work for the church, not just this year or next but for every year from now on. A gift to the Legacy Endowment will still be working for our church 125 years from now. Second, a gift to the Legacy Endowment relieves our ministry from the constant burden of wondering where the funds will come from to maintain our buildings. In essence, this is a gift that frees up resources that can be directed to all of the church’s other programs, as needed.
Why should I be worried about whether the buildings are going to be maintained 50 or 100 years from now?
When WMSUMC decided to build our beautiful sanctuary during the depression of 1892, its members planned a building for the ages. At the front of the church, take a look at the steel work as you enter the portico. Take a look at the granite steps. Our church was built to last. Moreover, our sanctuary was designed to hold 2,000 members… at a time when the entire population of Greensboro was only 3,400. These West Market members in 1892 didn’t know you… but they knew you were coming. They built this church not only for their generation but for the many generations to come. We can honor that legacy by thinking about future generations of West Marketers by planning for the care and maintenance of our beautiful buildings forever. What a legacy indeed!
What if I want to make a cash gift now to the Legacy Endowment?
There are many ways to give and every gift of any amount is appreciated. You can make a cash donation now. Simply write on your check… Legacy Endowment. Your gift will not be spent. It will be placed in the Legacy Endowment Fund and only the interest will be spent to maintain the church property. The principle will continue to work forever.
What if I want to make a future gift to the Legacy Endowment?
Talk to Pastor Scott who can give guidance if needed. Most importantly, talk to your financial advisor and/or attorney and let them know you want to include an accommodation for the church in your estate plan. The church can provide all the tools they will need for such a future gift.
I’ve already planned to give the church a gift at my death. Am I all set?
That’s wonderful! If you want to take the next step, it would be great if you would inform the church of your intent. Estate gifts are not binding in any way and can always be changed during your lifetime. By letting the staff or administration know you have included the church in your estate planning helps in a very general sense as the church plans for the future.