Sustaining the United Methodist Witness
 

Celebrating the Legacy of Generosity

The Lenexa sanctuary at night.

At the end of June, Lenexa United Methodist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary and, since its inception, lives have been transformed through the generosity of its members.

Since the first year of the church's history, members of the congregation showed generosity through supporting various needs and ministries within the church. During its first year in the spring of 1870, a subscription was circulated for the purpose of building a parsonage. Through generous giving, the trustees secured a property in Lenexa and by November their pastor, G.R. Houts, moved into the new parsonage.

A few years later in 1925, the congregation scheduled a dedication service of their new sanctuary for mid-November. However, the day before the dedication was scheduled to occur, rain and snow made it seem unlikely the Sunday dedication would happen. In addition, at the final planning meeting it was reported that $11,500 was still owed on the $25,000 building. The policies of the denomination would not allow the dedication to take place without at least a pledge of the entire cost.

Construction of the sanctuary at Lenexa UMC started in 1924.

The next morning brought clear skies and a full church by eleven o'clock. After the powerful sermon, a plain, concise statement was made to the congregation regarding the current finances. The Ladies Aid made the first pledge that was later increased to $3,000. Following their pledge, pledges of varying amounts started rolling in. When the meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m., only $550 remained to cover the entire debt. The remaining amount was raised during the afternoon meal and service. With the full amount pledged, a dedication service was held later that evening and every available seat, including the gallery and Epworth League room, was filled. The congregation still worships in this sanctuary today.

During the last few decades the legacy of generosity has continued at Lenexa UMC. Individuals from the congregation left bequests to the church that are designated for various programs and ministries ranging from youth ministries to building improvements. The bequests are held in managed funds at the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation. Through a managed fund, the church determines how the money should be invested and can request a distribution from the account.

Through an endowment fund, charitable individuals can leave a lasting legacy to their church and other ministries they care about. If you or a loved one are interested in more information about leaving a legacy, please contact the Foundation at 620-664-9623 or foundation@kaumf.org.

*Photos courtesy of Lenexa United Methodist Church. Top left: The Lenexa UMC sanctuary at night. Bottom right: Construction of the sanctuary
at Lenexa UMC started in 1924.