OK. I admit it. My wife, Connie, and I are old school. We started our married life together 38 years ago. In the months leading up to our wedding, we had a number of conversations about what we would do in our marriage and how we would live life in the future. I had already been called to ministry, and we just agreed that our marriage would be a ministry partnership. Tithing was to be a basic component of our relationship. We saw tithing as a way of expressing our thankfulness to God for His provisions for our family, and we never considered not tithing. As the pastor’s family, we would lead by example so we never missed a single tithe to God through the churches where we served. We have not missed one since I became a state missionary either. Now, 38 years later with a son, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law and three grandchildren, we rejoice that one of our first decisions as a couple was to honor God with His tithe.
A few years ago we started to discuss what will happen to our meager assets (truthfully, they belong to God!) after we are gone. It was not an easy discussion initially since we thought we were still too young to think about our death at some point in the future. As time went along, the conversation became more pressing, and we knew the time was right. A quick call to Barry Bledsoe at The Baptist Foundation of Alabama put us in touch with an estate planning group called Philanthrocorp. Within a matter of weeks, we were sitting in an attorney’s office signing our estate planning documents and then leaving with a sense that we had just acted on the greatest single act of stewardship we would ever be involved in.
The result is that for decades after we have transitioned to heaven, the trust bearing our name will benefit our children and grandchildren and still be funding Baptist causes in Alabama and beyond. Estate planning is our way of speaking from the other side. For more information, please contact Barry Bledsoe, president of The Baptist Foundation of Alabama, at (334) 394-2000, firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Missionary Bobby DuBois, associate executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, may be reached at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 219, or (334) 613-2219, email@example.com.