By Bill Gruenewald
President, Tennessee Baptist Foundation
In March 2021, the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB) and the Tennessee Baptist Foundation (TBF) launched an initiative to help all Tennessee pastors and ministers get their estate plans in place. We partnered with Philanthrocorp, a faith-based company that works with charitable organizations in the area of estate planning and planned giving.
They work with many other state Baptist foundations as well as the International Mission Board. The TBF believed with the size of this project, help would be needed, and felt Philanthrocorp was a good partner. The TBF has and will continue to work with all Tennessee Baptists in helping get their estate plans finalized.
Over the past six months, we have seen many pastors and ministers take advantage of this service, which is free of charge. As of August, there were 42 pastors in the planning process, with another 26 that were beginning the process.
The goal of this project was to have the spiritual leaders of our Tennessee Baptist churches live out their stewardship by taking care of their estate plans so they can be examples to their church.
Danny Sinquefield, senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, had this to say about his experience:
Rhonda and I had an old basic will that we had drawn up when our children were young. We definitely needed a revision. When I heard about the connection between our Tennessee Baptist Foundation and Philanthrocorp, I was very excited to investigate the opportunity of getting our financial plans in order.
The most helpful aspect of this plan for us was the concept of leaving charitable gifts to our church and other ministries in our will.
Honestly, that was something we didn’t really know how to make happen, but it is one of the first items on the list with this great Christian company. We were also very grateful to see how the Tennessee Baptist Foundation could serve as a managing partner to actually increase our estate over the years and provide a maximum benefit to our sons once we are in heaven. The guidance from the representatives at Philanthrocorp was so practical and helpful. They helped us think of things that we had not considered and we are truly grateful.
Another minister, Sam Nichols, Executive Pastor, First Baptist Church Collierville, shared about his experience:
I had been planning on updating my will for some time. It was written when my children were younger. Now they are adults and my wife and I believed that our will should reflect our current situation. When I heard about the arrangement between the TBC and Philanthrocorp, I contacted John Russell to begin the process. Philanthrocorp was very easy to work with.
They were professional, helpful, and insightful. It was a painless process thanks to their expertise.
Statistics say that seven out of 10 people DO NOT have a current estate plan in place. This includes ministers and their families as well. The TBMB and the TBF not only see this project as a ministry to our pastors but also see it benefiting Kingdom work for years to come.
Sinquefield shares this message to all Tennessee pastors and ministers, I would encourage all of my pastor friends and others to consider using this company for your estate planning. Rhonda and I feel confident that we are being good stewards of God’s blessings and that our gifts to ministry partners will advance the gospel for years to come. We rest well knowing this planning is settled and sealed. It was a most enjoyable and beneficial process from start to finish.
The TBF’s mission is to manage funds with integrity and help Tennessee Baptists leave legacies with a Kingdom focus. If you are a pastor and have not taken advantage of this opportunity, please contact the TBF at 615-371-2029 or visit our website at tbfoundtion.org. B&R