Leaving a Legacy


Paying It Forward as a Church

Gifts to the Live On Fund come from interesting sources through the years. The Lord’s leading is the only common denominator since every heart is difference and motivated in different times and places.

One story that bears witness is the example of congregational giving from a church named “Park Place.” The church was established in 1937. By most standards, Park Place would be considered a large church with as many as 1100 members worshiping at one time at its peak. However, in the years that passed, particularly in the decade of the 1950-1960, the geographic area changed and afterwards the demographics shifts as a freeway cut through the center of the neighborhood. By the 2000, there were only a remnant of the church members still attending—about one hundred total. Efforts to merge with a neighborhood congregation did not prove fruitful.

No one wanted to see the valuable property go into decline, so in January of 2007 more and more discussions focused on a possible timeline for closure. At the Congregational Meeting, a Resolution for Dissolution was approved. The provision called for selling the church building and dissolving the congregation by October 2007.

A vote on Sunday, June 27, 2007 among the Congregation’s Council recorded 33 members in attendance with 32 members voting to close and one no vote. The sadness of a church family faced with scattered members became a reality. However, with every death, there is a new birth and such was the case and great redempting joy for Park Place.

On October 7, Park Place as an entity entered into agreement with the Mission Endowment Fund, now known as the Live On Fund as an initiative of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. PEK Place donated $100,000 of their existing funds through the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest to help the Gulf Coast develop leaders through seminary scholarships.

The Lord’s hand blessed the agreement and on December 8, Inglesia De Jesuscristo del Fundamento purchased the entire property for the cost of $900,000.00. In total, nearly one million dollars was disbursed for the future of Lutheran ministry in the Gulf Coast.

In addition, the congregation gave its pipe organ to a neighboring ELCA church and provided an additional endowment gift to the ELCA Archives to preserve its records and publications.

In 2015, two of the congregation’s lay leaders were together to share their story on the decision to “pay it forward” for Lutheran ministry and make an impact on future generations. Listen to how God’s leading called them to make a sacrificial decision to benefit others.

Thank you Bill Wright and Carolyn Jones and the remnant of Park Place who prayerfully made the decision to invest in their synod and build their Lutheran heritage for the next generation! Thank you Park Place. God has blessed your gift and multiplied its worth.

Luke 10: 17-29