American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

A Message from Sue MacDonald,
Past Director of Development


Recently, I lost a childhood friend who passed quickly after a diagnosis of an aggressive, fast growing cancer. I’m told that even Hospice doctors and nurses were surprised at how quickly Steve passed. Steve and I were friends since grade school days. Both of our fathers were veterans and active in the local veteran organizations in our hometown which put our families together at lots of parades, picnics and other events. Steve and I reconnected 3 years ago and spent time reminiscing. When I learned of his death, I felt like someone hit me in the stomach and I was surprised how hard his death hit me. As I read the hundreds of comments from classmates, his friends and coworkers, many shocked at the news of his death as I was, I realized Steve had left a legacy. He had touched many lives and was considered a special person to everyone who knew him. Have you ever thought of leaving a legacy? What does it mean as a Christian to leave a legacy?


Leaving a Legacy means putting a stamp on the future and making a contribution to future generations. People want to leave a legacy because they want to feel that their life mattered.

Questions to ask ourselves…

  • What do I want my life to stand for?
  • How do I want my family and friends to remember me?
  • What kind of an impact do I want to have on my community?
  • What lives did I touch?
  • What do you want to leave behind? (Adapted from


Leaving a Legacy as a Christian means living for Jesus in every part of my life, every moment of every day, so that those around me see Jesus and remember Him and not me. It can also mean making a financial contribution for future generations that will help transform lives for eternity sake through planned gifts. As Christians, we could ask ourselves the same questions as seen above.

We might ask these questions, also:

  • What resources am I using (time, talent, treasure) to make a difference in this world?
  • What lives might be touched and brought into God’s family because I leave resources for ministry?
  • Will I leave resources that will allow my Church/Region/ABC family to reach future generations for Jesus? Will my gift help to transform lives and congregations?
  • Have I made estate plans to support the ministries/mission that mean so much to me?


I recently learned of the couple with no children who had great resources. Though they were members of their church for 60 years, at the time of their death it was revealed that they left $500,000 to the local university where they had no connection at all. The University President simply came and asked them to consider giving a gift that would change the lives of students. What about the church and ministry changing lives? Oh, yes, they left $15,000 to their church.

OUR Churches and OUR Region are often not even considered when we think of our wills and planned gifts. And yet, we should be concerned about bringing people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and their hope for eternity. It will take our financial resources for ministry and mission to continue with future generations. Will you leave a legacy?

Planned Giving (a.k.a. “Legacy Giving”) provides donors with an opportunity to support the long-term health of our American Baptist ministry and mission while meeting their own financial needs and objectives. Planned giving usually involves the gifting of cash or appreciated assets in return for generous tax and/or financial benefits, including income.

Make On-Line Donation

For information on Planned Giving/Creative Stewardship or Strengthening Your Financial Future programs, contact:

Mark J Mendicino, Board President
ABCOPAD Foundation

The ABCOPAD Foundation is in partnership with the American Baptist Foundation. To learn more about how your church can benefit from American Baptist Foundation's premier support services, account administration or, in general, about planned giving, please visit