What are your favorite memories of shade trees? I vividly recall the shade tree planted by my grandparents at their home in Rock Springs, Ala. My memories include making countless freezers of homemade ice cream under this shade tree; family reunion meals spread out beneath the canopy of this tree and lessons taught by two godly grandparents to 15 grandchildren. Looking back, while we grandchildren didn’t plant this tree, we enjoyed all the benefits it provided.
My grandparents’ life example and legacy were built on both spiritual investment and financial investment. As a farmer and an educator, they lived a modest life, but one committed to supporting their church with gifts of time, talent and property. They realized and instilled in their children and grandchildren that they were working to touch lives across the world from their pew in Rock Springs Baptist Church. You might say that my grandparents were planting spiritual shade trees under which they would never sit, but rather for others to enjoy the lasting spiritual blessing they would provide.
You may be asking, what do shade trees and the Kentucky Baptist Foundation have to do with each other? The ministry of the Foundation is focused on encouraging and facilitating legacy actions on the part of Kentucky Baptist church members. Our team fulfills this mission through educating individuals on how to make gifts through their estate plans. These gift decisions will have the effect of planting spiritual shade trees under which the donor may never sit, but under which many others will sit and enjoy the benefit for generations to come.
That is what legacy planning and giving is all about: committing all the talents and resources God has entrusted to you for the benefit of your family, your church family, and all persons that need the hope of Jesus Christ.
Many donors have entrusted the planting of their spiritual shade trees through the Kentucky Baptist Foundation during the past 70 years. The Foundation is pleased that this past year, through the earnings produced on the gifts and investments placed with the Foundation, it was able to distribute $6,102,144 supporting the ministries of Kentucky Baptists across the state and the world.
Let me encourage you to call on the Foundation to assist you in learning how you can plant your own spiritual shade trees. To learn more, contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.
Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P.O. Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.