Three BIC ministries receive generous and timely gifts

Three ministries of the Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S., are the beneficiaries of an $870,000 gift from the estate of Alvin Mellinger. Mellinger, who passed away on June 10, 2012, at the age of 89, chose to leave a portion of his estate to Cooperative Ministries, BIC World Missions, and the BIC Foundation. His gifts to these BIC ministries will make a timely and significant impact on the Church and Christ’s kingdom.

Gifts from the estate of Alvin Mellinger, of Cross Roads BIC (Mount Joy, Pa.), will have significant impact on three ministries of BIC U.S.Alvin Mellinger was a lifelong member of the Cross Roads (Mount Joy, Pa.) congregation. He was known for his quiet, gentle, and helpful ways. His brother, Glenn Mellinger, recalls, “Alvin was a quiet, caring person who volunteered his time helping where needed.” Though his income throughout his life was modest, Alvin lived simply and managed his money carefully. As one expression of his love for the Lord, Alvin made plans to donate his estate to ministries of the Church.

"Gifts such as this are conscientiously allocated as specified by the donor," explains Warren Hoffman, moderator of BIC U.S. In this case, the $330,000 amount designated for BIC World Missions was forwarded to world missions. Prior to this contribution, there was concern about adequate funding to deploy new missionaries. This timely bequest will enable BICWM to proceed with some much-needed deployments of missionaries and to continue moving forward with vision and strategic plans for the future.

In accord with a recent decision of the Leadership Council regarding undesignated bequest funds, the $330,000 amount given for Cooperative Ministries was allocated, half to the Pension Fund (to reduce underfunding) and half to the Vision Fund to be used for unanticipated opportunities or needs. Depending on congregational contributions to Cooperative Ministries at year-end, these bequest funds may be needed to cover shortfalls in 2012.

"On behalf of the Brethren in Christ Church in the U.S., I am humbled and grateful for Mr. Mellinger's generosity," says Hoffman. "His gift is reaching the Church at a crucial time, and we are incredibly thankful for our brother's contributions to the community of faith."

The BIC Foundation will use a gift of $210,000 to further its Planned Giving Partnerships. In this new program, the Foundation partners with BIC congregations and agencies who desire to promote planned giving among their constituency as a matter of good stewardship by offering will clinics, estate planning, and other services. It is hoped that this gift will ultimately be multiplied many times over as other donors make their own planned gifts.

John Burns, director of advancement for the BIC Foundation, notes that gifts like those from Mellinger can have significant impact. He encourages, "If you have a desire to leave a legacy that will strengthen the life and mission of the Church into the future, consider naming a local congregation, Cooperative Ministries, BIC World Missions, the BIC Foundation or other BIC ministries in your will." More information about planned giving resources is available the BIC Foundation's Planned Giving Partnerships page or contact John Burns at jburns@bicfoundation.org or (717) 796-4788, extension 5438.