Creating a Congregational Endowment Fund

Paying It Forward as a Church


Gifts to the Live On Fund have come from interesting sources through the years. The Lord’s leading is the only common denominator.

Park Place Lutheran Church was established in 1937 and grew with Houston to become a large church with as many as 1,100 members at its peak. However, over time, particularly during the 1950s, neighborhood demographics shifted as a freeway cut through the its center. By 2000, there was only a remnant of the church members still attending–about 100 total. Efforts to merge with a neighborhood congregation were not fruitful.

No one wanted to see the valuable property go into decline, so in January of 2007 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 was taken on Sunday, June 27, 2007. Of 33 members in attendance. 32 members voted to close and only one voted no. Although it was a sad day, a form of resurrection in store for Park Place.

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

The Lord’s hand blessed the agreement and on Dec. 8, Inglesia De Jesuscristo del Fundamento purchased the entire property for the cost of $900,000.00. In total, nearly $1 million was donated for the future of Lutheran ministry in the Gulf Coast. Earnings from this gift are put to work every year to support the training of new pastors.