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October-November 2021

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better together


Preparing for Skinny Cows

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Pharaoh had not heeded Joseph’s warning about the coming of the skinny cows (Genesis 41:17)? Egypt might have enjoyed a period of prosperity, but difficult days were still coming. Many of us believe difficult days are also coming for Christian ministries for a variety of reasons. Giving patterns have changed, and activists and politicians have been making the case for ending religious tax exemption status. The skinny cows are coming; what can we do?

Fortunately, our leaders have been preparing us for this moment for some time. If you have listened to Bill Evans or David Brown, you have heard them speak about the power of endowments. Bill likes to say, “Endowments are one of the best ways for small gifts to make a big impact.”

For example, on September 30, 1982, the Executive Office received a $100 check from Wilbur and Alma Worthington. The gift, originally known as the Worthington Trust, became the Cooperative Trust, and then finally, The Together Way Trust. That $100 has been earning interest for Free Will Baptists ever since. After all these years, the gift has provided more than double its value to our ministries and will continue until the Lord returns.

The Together Way Trust was established to provide long-term financial resources for national ministries. The Trust principal will never be used, but the interest is disbursed based on a formula adopted by the National Association.

Endowment gifts come in several forms. They can be offerings over and above tithes. They can come from churches or individuals who want to give a lasting, high-impact gift. They can come in the form of a gift of property. For example, an individual from Oklahoma gave 42 acres in Colorado to sell, and all proceeds went into the endowment. Currently, the trust totals $67,849. On February 11, 2021, the Free Will Baptist directors set a goal of raising $5 million for the trust. A modest estimate indicates this amount will realize $250,000 to national ministries each year.

Will you consider giving? With an endowment, your gift is never touched. In other words, whether you give $100 or $1 million, the gift remains in the endowment as principal; only the interest is used for ministry.

This kind of giving will help Free Will Baptist national ministries avoid debt that could cripple outreach (Proverbs 22:7). Resources begin to work for the ministry. A $5 million endowment would take pressure off the ministries, allowing them to rely upon an estimated yearly return. If the Lord tarries and people continue to give, the endowment will grow and should outpace inflation.

As former Executive Secretary Dr. Melvin Worthington noted, “Contributions to the trust will build a strong, steady, and significant financial base for denominational programs. Give today, and let your gift continue to give after you have passed away.” For more information call 877-767-7659 or email If we give together today, we will be ready tomorrow when those skinny cows emerge.

About the columnist: Better Together is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Eddie Moody, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life and ministry. Have a suggested topic or question? Contact Eddie:




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