The news came by phone call from a very excited “Miss Sarah” Anderson to Pastor Jan Setzler In February. “I’m holding in my hands a check for $100,000,” she exclaimed! It was a legacy gift from the Transition Team of Faith Lutheran Church, Old Timuquana Road, Jacksonville, Florida.
Faith Lutheran Church, Jacksonville closed in 2017. The congregation disbanded and a Transition Team was elected by the congregation to sell the property. A phone call from Mr. Fred Luethy, Treasurer of the congregation and Transition Team, to Pastor Setzler in early January brought news of the sale of the property. A series of conversations followed, exploring Luther Springs’ ministry and the various opportunities to support. “There was no indication of the size of the gift,” Setzler recalls. “Just that the property had been sold and the Transition Team was considering a gift to Luther Springs and it’s ministry to children. We were all overjoyed at the size of the gift.”
The accompanying letter from Mr. Luethy on behalf of the team directed that $50,000 of the gift be used for new construction. It’s perfect timing! Construction costs for the new Atonement Chapel have increased about 5% a year since the campaign budget was prepared in 2014. Projected costs for the new chapel increased by $100,000 over campaign projections. Faith’s gift helps the ministry meet half the increased construction costs.
Faith directed the other $50,000 be applied to camper scholarships. Camper scholarships are always a great need, and annual fund gifts each year reduce the cost of every program for every participant.
Additional contributions for scholarships are often needed because no one is ever turned away from any program offered across the ministry. To meet this need NovusWay distributes $100,000-$125,000 in scholarship support to nearly 500 participants of all ages each year.
To honor the memory of Faith’s ministry, NovusWay used $10,000 of the $50,000 to create a permanent, endowed Faith Lutheran Church, Jacksonville camper scholarship. Faith’s legacy provides scholarship support for a significant number of campers this year. The Faith Scholarship will send kids to camp year after year thereafter.
A community ministry, Inspire to Rise, bought Faith’s property. Ms. Aida Seeraj, the ministry’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, says that this property will be The Community Center Project. From this facility the ministry will serve the nearly 62,000 people in the immediate area, 22% of whom fall below the federal poverty level.