Operation Legacy Benefitting Pastors

by Rev. Bill Gruenewald

[This article originally appeared in Baptist and Reflector in October 2021]

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.

We have seen many pastors and ministers take advantage of this free service. Since March 2021, a total of 62 pastors throughout the state have started working on their estate plan thus far, and 14 have completed their estate plan with over $3.5 million in future gifts for Baptist causes.

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.”

Danny Sinquefield | Senior Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett

Another minister, Sam Nichols, the Executive Pastor at 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.”

Sam Nichols | Executive Pastor, First Baptist Church Collierville

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.

January is a great time for all of us to look at our estate plan and either complete it or update a current plan. Make this a New Year’s resolution for 2022!


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Please note that the advice offered in this article is not intended to be construed as tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice for the reader. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.