Church closes, work continues: Congregation hopes assets will bless community


The congregation of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Crothersville gathered last month for its final worship service, but its work in the community and around the world will continue for years to come.

Continuation of its work outside the beautiful stained glass windows at Kattman Avenue and Howard Street is a result of the congregation making a number of one-time gifts in addition to establishing endowed funds at the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

“While this is a sad, somber time for the remaining members of the church, the congregation will leave a legacy in many ways,” the Rev. C.W. “Bud” Walther said of the church, which has deep roots in the Crothersville community. “After a long ministry, the church will continue to serve through the distribution of the remaining assets.”

The church expects to leave about $350,000 to continue the congregation’s work through a combination of one-time and endowed gifts.

“But the real legacy will be the hundreds of people in Jackson County who can trace their faith roots through parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and extended family to baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals at this church,” Walther added.

Extending that work into the future was important to the congregation, church member Julie Cozart said.

“Our church has always made it a priority in our ministry to be good stewards to our local and global community — helping those in need — especially children,” Cozart said. “In fact, the $14,000 that grew into the assets we had was bequeathed to us because we lent a helping hand to a family from the area in need that was affected by a flood long before I was thought of.

“Although we cannot physically carry on our ministry anymore, our hope is that the monetary assets we leave behind can carry on our ministry of serving others and spreading God’s love,” she added.

The church voted to fund four endowments totaling $260,000 through the foundation:

  • The church’s German Reformed Cemetery at Kattman Avenue and Main Street will be cared for through an endowed fund of $85,000. The cemetery will be turned over to the Crothersville Cemetery Association for care.
  • The congregation also voted to establish an endowed $100,000 fund for an annual college scholarship for Vernon Township students. The first scholarship will be available for granting in 2018.
  • A $50,000 endowment will support the work of Uspiritus, formerly Brooklawn, in Louisville, Kentucky, and Crossroads in Fort Wayne. Both facilities for abused and neglected children have long received support from the church.
  • A $25,000 endowed fund was established to benefit Crothersville community nonprofit work.

The foundation strives for a 3 percent to 4 percent grant rate, so the generosity of the congregation of Immanuel United Church of Christ means that perhaps $10,000 could annually be made available from the church’s designated endowments for years and years to come.

You, too, can help that work.

Anyone can make donations to the endowments, perhaps as a memorial for a loved one or friend or maybe to mark a special occasion. And of course, you can contribute through your planned giving.

A gift through your will, for instance, could help widen the work that will be done through the Immanuel United Church of Christ Community Fund or increase the value of annual scholarships through the Immanuel United Church of Christ Scholarship Fund.

The new Immanuel United Church of Christ endowments join others at the foundation that assist area churches and their work.

They include funds that provide annual grants to Brownstown Christian Church, Brownstown Presbyterian Church, Cana United Methodist Church, Reddington Christian Church, St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Surprise United Methodist Church for the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, White’s Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery and Zion Lutheran Church.

You are welcome to call the foundation to learn more about how you, too, can help make a difference.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, 107 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274. For information about donating to the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to [email protected].

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