New Fund Provides Access to Christian Education

Second Presbyterian Church birthed Presbyterian Day School in 1949. The founding of PDS was an incredibly important missional decision by our church in furthering God’s Kingdom. Since its inception, PDS’s mission has been to honor God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. PDS is deeply rooted in its founding belief that Jesus Christ is Lord and that Christian education is vital.

It is an integral part of the PDS mission to provide an academic and Christian foundation not just to those who can afford it, but also to boys who would otherwise not have access to a PDS education. Second Presbyterian Church and subsequently the Foundation have historically supported that mission with the Clay Scholarship Fund, which was established by a donor to support boys of members of Second seeking financial aid through PDS.

In an effort to reflect God’s Kingdom and the city of Memphis, PDS is also taking intentional and strategic steps to become more ethnically and socioeconomically diverse.  PDS Headmaster Steve Hancock recently stated, “We need to make certain this world-class education is affordable and accessible for all qualified applicants. The possibilities are very exciting as we build a robust community that mirrors our city.”

The PDS Young Scholars Program was launched in 2010 to provide the opportunity for boys from any part of the Memphis area to attend PDS. The initial efforts have borne fruit in the lives of many young men, who are now well on their way to completing the secondary level of school.

“The great news about this program is that PDS has, for many years, successfully recruited, welcomed, discipled, mentored and graduated boys from under resourced families,” says Don Batchelor, former PDS Board Chair and 2PC Foundation Board member. In fact, the first Young Scholar graduates were so well taught and mentored that they were all in the top half of their respective classes.

Based on this proven track record, PDS is expanding the program this fall.  The Foundation recently established the Presbyterian Day School Young Scholars Fund. The PDSYSF will help support this goal with partial scholarship funding for tuition and related costs to attend PDS.

With Christian Leadership Development a key missional focus for the Foundation, the Board approved partial support for one Young Scholar beginning the fall of 2017 and also established this endowed Fund with seed money of $50,000. A goal of approximately $300,000 will net sufficient earnings to sponsor an additional student in perpetuity.  The Fund also has an expendable component, which allows donors to contribute resources that can be immediately deployed to support current students.

Howard Graham is Chairman of the PDS Board and a member of Second. He said, “ I know I speak for all of PDS when I say we are truly grateful that the 2PC Foundation is partnering with us to help fund scholarships for boys of diverse backgrounds from around our city allowing us to better fulfill our mission. We are particularly encouraged by the establishment of this fund with seed money and are hopeful that it in turn will be a catalyst for action for those desiring to support this PDS ministry through the Foundation. For members of Second who want to support both organizations this makes a lot of sense.”

Those who would like to make a donation to The PDS Young Scholars Fund through the Foundation can contact Vicki Simmons at 507-7898, or

FUNdation Fridays Rules

May 19, 2018 will mark 20 years since the formation of the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation!

As a part of acknowledgement throughout the 20th year and leading up to the celebratory event on April 6th, 2018, a monthly event will highlight congregational passion toward the ministry partners of our church and provide a thank you opportunity from the Foundation in recognition of our generous and charitable congregation.

The details of this unique and enterprising endeavor, which is also designed to inform the congregation about the mission and work of the Foundation, are below.

WHEN: 2nd Friday of each month, July 2017 – March 2018

WHERE: Online Messenger

WHAT: Individuals email answers to questions posed about the Foundation to by Noon the following Monday. The winner will be selected randomly from those providing correct answers.

PRIZE: $2,000 is granted to one Session-approved charity of the winner’s choice.


  • Members of Second Presbyterian Church and their children in the home are eligible to participate.
  • Ineligible participants are Foundation staff members, current Foundation Board and committee members, and their spouses.
  • One winner per household is allowed during the 9-month period.
  • The $2,000 grant will be to one charity.
  • No single charity can be the recipient more than two times during the 9-month period.



Winner is notified by the following Tuesday and announced in the following Friday Online Messenger along with the answers, the chosen charity, short description of charity, and quote as to why the winner chose that charity.

Keep in mind that The Second Presbyterian Church Foundation website is an excellent resource. Let the passion and charity continue!

The Allison and Sandy Willson Church Planting Fund

The Allison and Sandy Willson Church Planting Fund has been established out of gratitude to our Lord for the faithful ministry of the Willsons to Second Presbyterian Church from 1995 until 2017 and particularly honors Sandy for his leadership in the establishment of the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation. Second Presbyterian Church has historically been a church planting church. From 1870 until 1988, the church undertook 10 church plants; during Sandy’s tenure, six church plants were initiated. Church planting is among the more unique contributions that he brought to Second, giving her a deeper vision for the missional opportunities of church planting. Therefore, the Foundation has established a fund that is reflective of his legacy; the purpose of the Fund is to provide financial support to church planting efforts at home and around the world that are strategic, missional, and reformed in character. The Foundation welcomes the receipt of funds from members of Second and the community at large for the purpose of providing support for the Willson Church Planting Fund, as the Foundation and church are interested in augmenting and strengthening opportunities for church planting.

Click here to donate to the Willson Church Planting Fund

Have Questions? Contact Vicki Simmons at (901) 507-7898 or

Youth Stewardship Funds Take Root

Commitment to Youth

Over the 17 years the Foundation has been in existence, much emphasis has been placed on serving the needs of young people. This has taken many forms across the three primary areas that the Foundation provides funding for, including home missions, world missions, and Christian leadership and development initiatives. In the last category alone, Foundation support has been significant, totaling $2,085,000 in investments in programs such as youth, music and pastoral internships; various academic scholarships; and seminarians.

Going Younger

This spring, the Foundation launched a new initiative specifically for the training of our youngest members. The opportunity arises to celebrate and encourage our children as they take their membership vows. This is an excellent time to continue the spiritual training that has been provided in the home and reinforce the disciplines such as tithing, stewardship, and generosity. The Foundation is providing $250 as Seed Money for a Youth Stewardship Fund for each student who joins the church. The student and others may also make contributions to his or her own fund. Each year through the end of high school, the student will choose a qualified Christian charity, or charities, to which he or she will donate money. Those organizations that students have existing relationships with through Student Ministries are included as options. Student Ministries will be weaving this program into their existing instruction during youth Inquirers classes and stewardship season.

Train Up A Child

By giving a student the opportunity to be a philanthropist, they are handed a valuable gift — the opportunity to give generously and strategically. A Youth Stewardship Fund tangibly begins their journey into a life of philanthropy and generosity, further exposing them to diverse needs of people and ministry partners who are working to change the world for Christ.

Off and Running…to Giving

During this inaugural year, 53 10th and 11th grade students who have already taken their membership vows and eight youth staff will join the 27 9th grade students who have recently joined the church. This totals $22,000 that will be deployed into various ministries by these students and their mentors. Students, parents, and grandparents are encouraged to match those funds, which would bring the grants to $44,000 or more.

What Does It Mean to be a Steward?

KeaslingI remember asking that question shortly after I joined the church and the concept of stewardship came up. I would love to say that at that young age I instantly began to give money to the church, but that is not my story. It was not until college that tithing became a regular part of my life. I remember how it felt when I realized that even my small contributions made a Kingdom difference and it stuck with me. I am so excited that our students get an opportunity to feel the same way I did but at a much younger age through the “Seed Money” program. The Foundation is providing funds on behalf of our students for their distribution to agencies who are spreading the Gospel here in Memphis and around the world. It is our hope that these funds are the first step in creating lifetime stewards.

Andrew Keasling
Director of Family & Youth Ministries


Generation to Generation

SONY DSCAs a 2PC Foundation Grants Committee member, I had the opportunity to vote to recommend approval of the new Youth Stewardship Fund. I was so excited by this new fund, I could hardly type fast enough to send in my “yes” vote.

Years ago, my parents placed funds in a foundation similar to the 2PC Foundation. I have had the joy and privilege of directing these funds to various Christian ministries and agencies that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the US and around the world. I am thrilled that my grandchildren will now be able to begin that process much earlier in life than I did and will have the opportunity to make it a joyful habit throughout their lives.

Because of my role in the granting process, I have become much more aware of and personally involved with many of the agencies receiving funds. It is my prayer that my grandchildren will experience the same joy that I have in supporting Christ-centered ministries. I can’t wait until their individual funds are set up so I can contribute to them and hear about their plans for distributing the resources.

Marion Quinlen has served on the Foundation’s Grants Committee since the early days of the Foundation. She was the Chair from 2008 – 2012.

Second BCA Student Benefits from Fox Scholarship Fund

Kamba SamuelKamba Samuel, the son of Sudanese refugees who relocated to Memphis in 2001, graduated from Binghampton Christian Academy in May 2014. His mother, Flora Banga, is a long-standing member of the International Sunday School class at Second Presbyterian and has made it a priority in her life to raise her children in the church and seek for them a sound Christian education. Since Kamba was a young elementary school student at BCA, he has been actively involved in youth activities at Second, has made many friends, and has established himself as a quiet servant leader.

“Kamba has a strong desire to do what is right and to honor authority figures,” says Mike Rhodes, who has mentored Kamba for several years. “He was a standout at Binghampton Christian Academy and could quote much Scripture and biblical truth from his heart when asked about what it meant to follow Christ.”

Respected by his peers, Kamba exhibits the type of student leadership that ECS has cultivated in its students for many years. “You know a servant like Kamba when you see one, because he doesn’t make much of himself but loves others first,” says Lee Taylor, Kamba’s small group leader at Second. And although Kamba struggled academically in elementary school, by middle school he “became a model student by establishing and maintaining excellent work habits, conduct and on-time attendance,” says Travis Crutchfield, one of Kamba’s teachers at BCA. “In fact, Kamba’s attitude and work ethic motivated his peers to achieve by his being an example and role model for them.”
Kamba’s strong Christian character, work ethic and leadership qualities will serve him well in making the transition to high school at ECS. It will be a joy to watch him grow over the next four years.

The Fox Scholarship Fund was established by the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation in December 2009 with an initial planned gift of $100,000 by Antoinette and John Good. The scholarship is in memory of Meredith Fox, daughter of Second members Roy and Terri Fox and sister of Second members Roy and Margaux Fox. Meredith attended Evangelical Christian School as a freshman.
Since the fund was established, more than 80 families and individuals have chosen to honor Meredith through contributions. As of June 30, 2014, the fund contains $233,092, a level of support that will allow us to consider sponsoring two students at one time, launching a new student every other year.

“The Meredith Fox Fund positively affects and changes a young person’s life over four years,” says Vicki Simmons, Executive Director of the Foundation, “but it also has a spillover effect of bringing together and encouraging all students at BCA and ECS through connective activities that have resulted from the establishment of the fund.” In the past, ECS has hosted entire classes of BCA seventh and eighth graders for plays and other events on the ECS campus. Joint service projects are also being planned. The Foundation continues to accept gifts, which can be designated for the Meredith Fox Fund.

The Importance of Proactive Planning

Libby-Dickinson-1 At this year’s Foundation Dinner our speaker, Chuck Jacob, gave some thought-provoking insights on the reasons why we as Christians should make noble plans. As I listened to the presentation, I thought about 2 Kings 20:1, “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.”

We have all prayed the childhood prayer, “And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” However, only rarely do we contemplate during evening prayer what preparations we have made with respect to our final wishes and material possessions, should we actually die before we wake. Are we going to our eternal home leaving our earthly homes in a state of chaos or of order? The answer to this inquiry is a significant one.

Hezekiah gets a clear wake-up call from the Lord when he is told “Get your house in order.” This is a command that is particularly meaningful to me. My husband, Skip, died at age 40 after only nine years of marriage. At 37 years old, I was a widow and mother of two very young boys. I can testify to the importance of “putting your house in order.”

Based on my life experiences, I encourage everyone to initiate or review his or her estate plans. Once you have taken the steps to get your house in order, it is also important to maintain that order over the course of your life. For example, after Skip’s death, new plans were needed. I had a new will prepared and purchased a new life insurance policy.

While you are living, it is very important to organize and communicate what actions are to occur upon your death. Who should be called? Where are your important documents kept? Where is the list of monthly and annual bills due and payable? What is the name of your lawyer and accountant? Did you plan your funeral? Did you purchase a burial plot and if so, where?

You may be thinking, “I know, I know, it’s on my to-do list” or asking “How do I begin this process or update my existing, but outdated plans?” You can begin by calling the Foundation at Second, and they can point you in the right direction. Just last fall, the Foundation invited a local attorney to come and tell us in clear simple terms what steps to take. The presentation was in terms we all understood. We talked about ownership of property, asset protection for underage children, life insurance, and charitable giving. If you missed it or need a refresher, the presentation is available at

Every participant left the room more knowledgeable about what issues we needed to think about and what legal, accounting, and insurance actions needed to be taken, implemented, or reviewed. We learned that the time expended and costs incurred to prepare for death are very reasonable. We also all agreed that the time and costs associated with a decedent’s estate can become very unreasonable in the event no plans are made prior to death.

Each year, I have found it helpful to review a summary of all my estate plans at an annual meeting with family. My lawyer and accountant/financial representative are available to review my estate plans to see if changes or additions are needed based on changes in law, family, and interests in property and possessions. Consider this action whether you are single or married, young, or old.

Remember, planning and the communication of your plan are the best gifts you can give to your survivors.


Elizabeth Dickinson

Libby Dickinson

2014 Foundation Dinner Recap

The Foundation marked its 16th year with a dinner on March 28th, focusing on the theme of Noble Plans. Approximately 300 people enjoyed a time of fellowship and heard inspirational messages from members of Second Presbyterian Church as well as the featured speaker, Chuck Jacob.

Foundation Chairman Rick Moore convened the meeting by reviewing distinctive activities since the last dinner was held two years ago. He reported that the Foundation has experienced growth in a variety of areas including participants in the Foundation, gifts to the Foundation, and investments. All these equip the Foundation with the ability to create more targeted funds and to grant more dollars to ministries.

Key updates include:

  • In late 2012 the Foundation began issuing Charitable Gift Annuities. We now have a total of $729,409 in annuities issued. This gifting opportunity is unique in that it provides mostly tax free income for life to the donors as well as a charitable deduction all the while providing a significant gift to the Foundation.
  • The opening balance for a Donor Advised Fund has been lowered to $3,000. This type of fund provides convenience for individuals who donate to more than one ministry.
  • The Second Presbyterian Church Foundation web site has been updated and provides clear information about every aspect of the Foundation.
  • Some members of the congregation have participated in age-similar small group sessions to help the Foundation better understand what information they need and how they want it delivered. The hope here is to streamline and provide relevant information across all age groups.
  • The Committee and Subcommittee structure now includes non-Board members. It is the diligent work of the individual committees that contributes to the progress being made.
  • Combined assets of the Foundation and the Realty Foundation equal over $25,000,000. When added to the investments already made since inception, the total is $42,448,417.
  • The average annual investment growth since inception is 8.6%.

Brandon Morrison provided an overview of the grants awarded over the last two years in the areas Christian leadership development, world missions, and home missions. A video was shown of the personal story of Rogelio Duarte and how multiple ministries that are supported by the Foundation have changed his life for now – and for eternity.

Ministries such as Esperanza, Su Casa, Binghampton Christian Academy, Second’s youth internship program, and French Camp Academy have each played a direct part in addressing the physical needs as well as the spiritual needs of the Duarte family. As a result, Rogelio is a part of the body of Christ, actively sowing seeds for the kingdom. Rogelio’s Story showed the thread of the Lord’s work through the Foundation, which is firmly woven throughout the life of our beloved brother in Christ.

Rogelio’s Story from Second Presbyterian on Vimeo.

Chuck Jacob ended the evening with a message of profound gratefulness, specifically to Second Presbyterian, for the training he received as the first pastoral intern. This internship was funded by the Foundation and was the genesis of the Pastoral Internship Program. He spoke of the equipping nature of the program, which is vital for future pastors. He stated that this was made possible by others who had made noble plans. He then gave scriptural examples of nobility, including our Noble Savior and his act of total sacrifice; Zacchaeus and his remarkable transformation and acts of restoration; and the widow who gave regardless of her circumstances.

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“But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”
Isaiah 32:8

2014 Foundation Dinner – Noble Plans

Friday, March 28, 2014, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: 2PC Fellowship Hall, 4055 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN US 38111
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Have you ever thought of yourself as nobility? Isaiah 32 speaks of the time when a king will rule in righteousness and princes in justice, and contrasts what the fool and the noble will be like. As heirs to the King of Kings we are indeed nobility and we are given good guidance on what the noble do and on what they stand.

The Foundation provides an opportunity for our members to align themselves with others who are doing noble things and together impact the kingdom. It also allows members the opportunity to create noble plans and even invite others to build upon them.

Make a plan to hear Chuck as we focus on how the Gospel of the Noble Savior makes noble people who plan for and do noble work in the world.

The Foundation has a mission to assist the members of our congregation as they steward His gifts and seek opportunities to make noble plans.

The occasion of our dinner allows us to focus on the fruits of making such plans and the impact that is made both on ourselves and the next generation, when we are engaged in ministry as a corporate body and as individuals.

About the Speaker

Our speaker will be Chuck Jacob, Senior Pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chuck served at Second until 2003 as both pastoral intern and teaching pastor. Before this, he was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for Apple, Inc. His wife, Diane, will also be joining us. Together they have three children, Hannah Grace, Noah, and Abigail.

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. Make your reservations for each person attending the dinner by March 20. You can do this online, or by contacting Vicki Simmons at or 454-0034, ext. 193. Nursery is available by reservation up through age 4; nursery reservations can also be made online.


Foundation Supports Second’s Priority of Strengthening Memphis Families

It is clear that the breakdown of the family is responsible for many of our problems in Memphis. In response, Second is focusing many resources on strengthening families, both internally and externally.

Within our church is the Family Team, one of our five key ministry teams. This team was developed because our church believes that we must cherish and value the institution that is the bedrock to our society: marriage and family. To that end, this team seeks to encourage our families toward spiritual growth, and to help equip our parents to disciple their children in the Lord.

Externally, the focus is primarily on supporting Families Matter (FM), a Memphis outreach ministry whose start nine years ago was based on a marriage enrichment program developed by Second. FM is now led by a couple that has been married 45 years, Carol and Herman Jackson, and has been expanded to include programs for fathers, students, and churches. The Foundation has provided significant funding for the expansion of the program over the last seven years.


“The Fatherhood program was instituted when we realized that absentee fathers are the leading cause of the breakdown of the family in the resourced and under-resourced areas of Memphis,” says Carol Jackson. FM uses evidence-based curriculum for the Fatherhood program that is taught in 14 different venues. Examples of the curriculum include Dynamic Dads; The 12 Principles of Manhood; 24/7 Power Hour Dads; Dr. Dads; The Nurturing Father and Guy Talk. In 2013, 2,069 boys, young adult males, and men attended these presentations.

Herman adds, “Carol and I have a relationship with the equalizer, who is Jesus Christ and we know little becomes much when placed in the Master’s hands. It would be impossible to do what we are doing without God’s favor.”


The Connections-Relationship and Marriage program is carried out in our public schools by teaching students healthy relationship skills and the successful life sequence of obtaining an education, gainful employment and then marriage before children. More than 9,000 encounters were made during the 2012-2013 school year with middle and high school students. Through this program we have seen students’ lives changed to include hope for a successful life and the development of healthy relationships with others.


The FM church programs are designed to encourage and train church leaders to conduct marriage and family ministries important and relevant to their congregations, including a progression of relationship programs appropriate for different ages. FM brings curriculum resources, coaching, and instructor training to pastors and/or their designees, and also offers train-the-trainer sessions to those who conduct church courses for members.

Currently FM has relationships with pastors in more than 80 churches that range in size from 40 to 4,000. Examples of courses offered include Connections: Relationship and Marriage; Before You Tie the Knot; Marriage Mentoring; and The 12 Principles of Manhood. The FM church program is growing, in part from the success of the Fatherhood Initiative that is causing churches to seek help in building their men’s ministries.

Families Matter has a blessed history that started less than 10 years ago. The FM reputation continues to grow as there are now 175 people on the team that enabled FM to have encounters with 17,500 people in 2013. “Second Presbyterian Church provides encouragement, volunteers, and financial support to Families Matter. These resources give underpinning for us as we create training and educational opportunities in schools, churches, and many other venues,” says Carol Jackson. “For this, we are very thankful.”

The Foundation is pleased to come alongside Second by tangibly supporting an effective ministry partner who is addressing this great need.

Variety of Ways to Participate Yields Growth for Foundation

The ultimate purpose of our Foundation is to promote God’s Kingdom.

The degree to which that is accomplished relies on several factors, chiefly the level of generosity of our members and others who value the mission of our church and its ministries. Just as we as members of our church are equipped differently to serve within the body of Christ, we are also equipped differently when it comes to exercising generosity. While we all are to seek to serve and to be generous, how that is accomplished is unique to each of us.

Like the church, the Foundation offers a variety of ministry opportunities, either through support of specific ministries or of the overall mission of the Foundation. This variety is a key ingredient in the growth of the Foundation, as donors are able to participate in ways in which they have been specifically equipped. One size, in either method or amount, does not fit all. Every gift has impact and the bonus is that the collective effort magnifies the smallest of gifts.

Participation levels are increasing in every giving area of the Foundation. Here are a few examples of how different recent gifts came to fruition. I am always available to help you to discern an appropriate way to participate in the Foundation so that your acorn produces Gospel fruit.

A lifelong area resident who has followed Second for many years through its television ministry makes gifts to Foundation.

This senior widow contacted the Foundation following the death of her husband. Together they had decided to leave a portion of their estate to Second. As she eventually faced a move, she asked how a Charitable Gift Annuity might benefit the Foundation and also provide income that was mostly tax free. She decided to make the gift and was so pleased with its structure that months later she requested a second CGA of equal value when one of her lower paying commercial CDs matured.

A couple passionate about one of our church’s ministry partners asks the Foundation to help them accomplish their goal of establishing a permanent scholarship fund.

The Neighborhood Christian Center has been the recipient of this couple’s involvement and generosity for many years. Desiring to continue that tradition well beyond their own lives, the couple approached the Foundation with a basic question. If they were to make a gift, would the Foundation be willing to establish, maintain, and monitor a permanent fund to benefit students who have successfully participated in NCC’s Truth Seekers program by providing scholarships for them to attend college or a vocational school? Following planning discussions with the donors and the NCC, the Foundation responded with a yes and The NCC Scholarship Fund has now been established. Up to $90,000 in scholarships has been made available for the 2014-15 school year. Others who wish to participate now also have an established vehicle to do so.

Many designated and memorial funds like this have been established with careful planning to achieve the goals of the donor in a way that effectively benefits the ministry objective.

A very different fund recently established is the Mozambique Fund. The objective in this case is to afford members the ability to financially participate directly in this strategic ministry of the church.

Yet another designated fund opportunity that is closer to home is The Fellows Fund, which supports scholarships and the expansion of this dynamic and needed program that, among other things, is promoting the relevance of the Church to a generation of emerging leaders.

Another couple uses the Foundation to establish a Donor Advised Fund so that their elementary age grandchild can learn the concept of generosity at an early age.

Recently the amount to open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) was lowered to $3,000. This change prompted the couple to use this resource to equip their granddaughter to play a role in giving to others financially. She, along with her parents, volunteers with two of Second’s ministry partners. Appropriate size gifts can be made and the fund allows her another way to give joyfully and to seek additional opportunities to serve others. A list of Session-approved agencies to which grants may be made out of DAFs is on the Foundation website.