Steve Harter-First Christian Church, Tacoma, WA
Sometimes things do work out for a reason. About 10 years ago, shortly after First Christian Church of Tacoma, WA, had created a permanent fund policy with help from the Christian Church Foundation, Steve Harter approached then-Senior Minister Rev. John Williams with a request: He was rewriting his will, and he wanted to name Rev. Williams as the executor and, since he had few heirs, wanted to leave his remaining assets to the church’s new permanent fund.
Rev. Williams reluctantly agreed to serve as executor, believing the 48-year-old man would outlive him. Then the unthinkable: Mr. Harter was killed in a car-bus accident in 2010 at the age of 55.
Yet because of Mr. Harter's planning, Rev. Williams knew how the assets were to be distributed, including five classic cars. And it was with a deep sense of gratitude when the church received a check of $250,000 as a gift from the estate.
“Steve wasn’t really active in the church, although his mother was,” Rev. Williams recalls. “But he knew what the church meant to her, and because he knew we had a policy that directs how such gifts are managed and used, he and his mother will forever be providing for Christian ministry. Future generations of Christians will be blessed because of his generosity and foresight.”
To learn how you congregation can develop a solid permanent fund policy, or begin a planned gift ministry that can provide a Christian witness for future generations, contact the Christian Church Foundation at (800) 668-8016.