Ligon Duncan to Speak at 20th Anniversary Dinner

The evening of Friday, April 6th has been set aside to celebrate, learn more about the impact of the Foundation, and be encouraged by guest speaker Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, III, Chancellor, CEO and Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. Dr. Duncan may be remembered as the key worship leader some years ago at the community-wide reformation service held at Second.

A native of South Carolina, Dr. Duncan received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and supplied churches in Britain. In addition to serving on the faculty of RTS, his pastoral ministry for over three decades and four congregations includes that of Senior Pastor at historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He became Chancellor/CEO of RTS in 2013. He has authored or contributed to 35 books, is active in the Presbyterian Church of America, and has frequently addressed audiences here and abroad.

Make plans to attend this free dinner event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Make your reservations online (one registration is required for each person attending).

Click Here to RSVP

FUNdation Fridays

FUNdation Fridays

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.

A Letter from Sandy Willson

Dear Friends,

In 1998 several of our devoted members established the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation as a mechanism to encourage long-term financial stewardship for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God in Memphis and around the world. Over the past sixteen years, their vision has been growing into a beautiful reality. The keys to a successful missional foundation are all in place: godly and competent board members, a charter that guarantees independent and strategic decision-making in the years to come, an aggressive vision to minister to the city and the world, solid financial advisors, and many partners (like you) who pray and give and serve for God’s glory.

The Foundation has grown from $3 million to more than $25 million in assets. These funds are making a difference for Christ in Cambodia, Ukraine, India, Argentina, China, Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. They have helped support the creation of the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies, the Shalom Project, NEXUS, and many urban gospel projects in Memphis, including our Hispanic outreach efforts. The Foundation carefully coordinates its efforts with the Second Presbyterian World Missions and Mission Memphis Committees, thus wisely mobilizing other gifts and our members’ personal involvement. I have seen first hand the effective work being done by the Second Presbyterian Foundation here and around the world, and I am moved with gratitude for all those saints who have given sacrificially and for all those who have strategically planned their estates in order to advance the Kingdom of God. You are making a difference.

There is yet much work to be done in reaching the lost and the left behind both in this city and among the most vulnerable people in our world. It is a joy for me to invite you to join Allison and me by placing the Second Presbyterian Foundation in your will or by giving special gifts for their strategic projects. You do not need to be a member of Second Presbyterian Church to participate. You only need to be a person who wants all of your life’s resources to be spent wisely for the Kingdom.

Yours for His glory,
Sandy Willson
Former Senior Minister

New Fund Provides Access to Christian Education

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.

The Importance of Proactive Planning

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.

Libby Dickinson