IPC Foundation - History

Independent Presbyterian Church

A Brief History

The early years of IPC were devoted to building and beautifying the church and the Children’s Fresh Air Farm. This work absorbed all available funds, as well as requiring a mortgage of $150,000. When the Depression came, repayment of the mortgage had to be deferred. This phase of our history ended in 1943: a pledge of $50,000 by Robert I. Ingalls generated a swell of enthusiasm, and a congregational dinner was held to secure the additional pledges needed to retire the debt. The instruments of indebtedness were burned at the annual congregational dinner on January 19, 1944.

From its early days, the Children’s Fresh Air Farm attracted support from within IPC and from the community at large. The primary benefactor was Robert R. Meyer, not an IPC member but a friend of Henry Edmonds. Mr. Meyer underwrote much of the Farm’s annual operating expenses and purchased the property for the Farm. Later he made two gifts to provide permanent support. First, he pledged $50,000 in 1943, subject to IPC’s contribution of an additional $25,000. Then, through his will in 1947, he gave $75,000, subject to IPC’s contribution of another $25,000. This sum of $175,000 formed the initial balance of the Robert R. Meyer Children’s Fresh Air Farm Fund. Since then, memorials and gifts in support of the Farm over a designated threshold (currently $500) are added to a related fund known as the Children’s Fresh Air Farm Campship Fund.

IPC’s second endowment came in 1961, when the C. Eugene Ireland Fund was established to hold bequests of C. Eugene and Annette Ireland, which totaled $883,000. The Irelands suggested several causes to be supported by the Fund, but left responsibility for this decision with IPC.

In 1973, The IPC Foundation was formed as a 501 (c) (3) corporation to manage the endowments of IPC. Endowment gifts were encouraged; new funds could be established with a $1,000 minimum. A number of funds were established in the 1980s.

Between 1982 and 1984, IPC received the seed gifts that became the Orlean and Ralph W. Beeson Fund. The Beesons gave $540,000 during their lifetimes, and added bequests that brought total contributions to $18.6 Million. The Beeson Fund is devoted to "the benefit of mankind, the education of youth, the relief of human suffering, and propagation of the Christian religion." Distributions are made by the award of grants.

Three gifts totaling $1.5 Million by an anonymous family (in 1987, 1999, and 2000) formed the Children’s Fresh Air Farm Capital Development Fund. The Fund grew substantially in 2013 with the addition of a bequest of $5.2 Million. The Children’s Fresh Air Farm is the primary beneficiary, but the Fund also underwrites IPC’s Shoe Fund and provides general operating support to IPC.

By 2002, the number of funds had grown, with several of them having similar purpose and smaller balances. Seven of these funds were consolidated for efficiency, leaving the Foundation with the basic fund structure in use today. At that time, the threshold for a fund was set at the current level of $25,000.

Beginning in 2003, increased interest in endowment giving led to the creation of seventeen funds:

  • Barbara Noojin Walthall Bible Study Fund (2003)
  • Martha Steger Estes Fund (2004)
  • Jeanne Isaacs Children's Ministries Fund (2005)
  • Garnet McAdams Deramus Congregational Care Fund (2006)
  • Felix C. Yarboro Community Ministries Fund (2006)
  • Bessie Herron Lester Fund (2007)
  • HERO Fund (2008)
  • IPC Facilities Fund (2008)
  • The Troop 28 Fund (2008)
  • Alyson L. Butts Fund (2009)
  • linton Williams Taylor Fund (2011)
  • Lydia C. Cheney Fund (2011)
  • Sue Aldridge Newton Fund (2012)
  • Children's Christian Education Fund (2012)
  • William W. Featheringill Technology Fund (2013)

At the end of 2013, the Foundation managed 34 funds totaling $61.2 Millions. In addition, the Foundation has been advised of deferred gifts (e.g., bequests) that may be expected to increase the number of funds and the size of the endowment in the future.

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