From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Kansas City woman leaves $4.4 million to Christian Church
16 Oct 1998 13:01:14
Date: October 16, 1998
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Curt Miller
on the Web: http://www.disciples.org
By Jim Cullumber
Director of Communications, Christian Church Foundation
INDIANAPOLIS (DNS) -- Miss Mary Annette Merchant, a member of
Community Christian Church, Kansas, City, Mo., until her death Feb.
8, 1998, has made a bequest of $4.4 million to the Christian Church
Foundation to support some of her favorite causes. The bequest is the
second largest in the foundation's 37-year history.
Miss Merchant, whose grandfather founded the former Westport Bank in
Kansas City, belonged to Community Christian Church for nearly 60
"Miss Merchant has left an astounding legacy of love that will
benefit many people and institutions for years and years to come,"
said the Rev. Robert Lee Hill, senior minister at Community Christian
Church and a board member of the Christian Church Foundation.
Through future interests gained from the generous Merchant gift as
part of the Christian Church Foundation, resources will be provided
in perpetuity for an array of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
-- The congregation of Community Christian Church
-- The International Christian Women's Fellowship, to support
-- The Black Disciples Endowment Fund for Clergy Education
-- Week of Compassion, to support disaster relief and development
-- Basic Mission Finance, to help undergird the ministries of the
"It's a joyful, yet finally impossible task, to begin to calculate
how many lives Miss Merchant's gift will touch. She always liked to
make an impact with her philanthropy as well as providing for our
congregation's future needs," Hill said.
"She experienced great pleasure and pride in making significant
gifts to Community's many special and on-going ministries. Even
though she never married and had no children to raise in her
household, her gift now will take care of an untold number of
children of God."
An initial distribution of part of the principal of her gift will
benefit the congregation and the Greater Kansas City Region of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Hill recalled how Miss
Merchant took special delight in helping the St. Andrew Christian
Church congregation, in a capital campaign for the congregation's
Miss Merchant's parents were Forrest and Patricia Merchant. "Miss
Merchant was a homemaker her entire life, taking care of her mother
in her retirement years. She also was an obviously good steward and
wise investor of the legacy left to her by her family."
Hill described Miss Merchant as a gentle and compassionate person.
She had an avid interest in all aspects of development in Kansas
City, current events of all kinds, the lives of children and the
progress of the business community. "Her hopeful attitude and
thankful posture toward life were inspirational to those who knew
her," he said.
Community Christian Church is finalizing plans for use of the
Merchant gift. "It is likely that the funds provided by her
remembrance of us will help start new programs related to our new
Vision for the 21st Century Statement, which is ‘Worship God, Grow
Disciples, Serve the World,'" Hill said. That statement includes
special emphasis on ministries to and for younger families.
The Christian Church Foundation is a general unit of the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ), with a stated ministry of helping
members of the Christian Church make a difference forever in their
favorite Disciples causes through planned giving and estate
The bequest to the Christian Church Foundation is half of the
Merchant residual estate; another $4.4 million is creating a special
endowment fund through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
and Affiliated Trusts.
Information on including the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
estate planning is available through the Foundation at (800)
-- end --
Disciples News Service releases
are available at http://www.disciples.org/dns/index.htm
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .