Kingswood United Methodist Church was facing an immanent closing date with an aging population, shrinking attendance, and dwindling budget. They had over $300,000 in a line item set for evangelism, a building, 2 vans, and a parsonage. As time went on, they determined that they had two options.
- They could continue to operate for another 4-5 years on that sum of money.
- They could close their doors, and give all that they had to ministries they believed were making an impact in the community.
Nearly one year ago, Pastor Toni Bailey met with me and we began to pray about what God wanted to do with the Kingswood legacy .I put Toni in touch with Pastor Rick Enns of FUMC Canyon, and as we prayed, as Kingswood prayed, as we walked the building, a plan began to emerge.
The Kingswood leadership determined that The Wesley Community Center in Amarillo (A United Methodist ministry that serves low income areas of Amarillo) would benefit from the use of their building in that community. The church building is now being used by the Wesley Community Center as a second hub for after school programs, feeding programs, and activities for the neighborhood kids.
Canyon FUMC is launching a new church plant in Amarillo. Kingswood gave the 300k to FUMC to begin the process of renovations and staffing for a move of God in that part of the city! A really cool part about this is that three of our Wesley Academy Interns are working with Pastor Toni Bailey and Canyon FUMC as their Academy placement to help launch this church. They are getting hands-on training on how to church plant!
The third part of the Kingswood Legacy went to us at The Wesley Foundation. They sold their parsonage and gave us the proceeds with over $103,000 that we can now make bigger plans with. They also gave us one of their vans, so we can do more travel with larger groups and won’t have to borrow vans from churches.
Then, just a few weeks ago, we received a phone call from Lakeview United Methodist Church in Dalhart which closed on July 1st. They followed suit on what Kingswood UMC did, and sent us proceeds from the selling of their parsonage at the amount of just over $10,000.
We are praying and discerning how this 113k should be invested. Right now, the plan is to buy a duplex or some kind of housing for Wesley Academy Staff. Canyon FUMC has been allowing Academy Staff to live in their duplex for free, but will most likely be leveling it for additional parking in the next few years. We are hoping to find some kind of housing in Canyon to defray the cost of living for Academy interns.
As you may know, the Wesley Academy is an internship program where college graduates spend 1-3 years living as missionaries woking half time with us and half time with a local church to discern a call into vocational ministry. We provide training as well as hands-on experience to help them see how they may fit into the overall scheme of ministry. They are required to raise funds to live on, and the churches we pair them with pay $500 a month so they can make ends meet. Free housing helps defray the cost of living tremendously and will help our conference in the long term as we hope to launch more and more ministers into the ministry over the foreseeable future.
If you are interested in helping us with some kind of legacy gift for housing Wesley Academy Staff, contact me at (806) 655-3535 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a time to meet and make the process as easy for you as possible. We truly believe that God is using the Wesley Foundation to “Raise up the next generation of Christian Leaders!”
God bless you, Kingswood UMC and Lakeview UMC for your Legacy Gifts!!!!