Tabernacle’s Endowment Fund
Half a Century Strong

What is the Tabernacle Endowment Fund?

The Endowment Fund at Tabernacle Baptist Church is a permanent institution, legally separate from the church, but irrevocably bound to the church’s welfare and ministries by its charter and by-laws. It is led by a board of nine directors, who are church members and who serve without compensation for staggered three-year terms.

The board is charged with:

  • The safe and sensible handling of all gifts and bequests
  • Following the directives of individual donors
  • Assuring that undesignated resources of the Endowment are administered for the strengthening of Gospel ministries and Christian services
  • Offering the opportunity for donors to create lasting memorials for departed friends and family

The Endowment Fund of Tabernacle Baptist Church
2021 Board of Directors

Jessica Corbitt
Penny Jenkins
Terry McMahon
Turner Smith
Bill Welstead Jr.

Brenda Gradwell
Jerry Jones
Jim McMurray
Denise Walters

The Endowment Fund of Tabernacle Baptist Church is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in the Commonwealth of Virginia

Tabernacle’s Endowment History
1965 to the Present 

In 1965 Mrs. Bessie L Burnett left the church the remarkable gift of $38,000 (equivalent to over $300,000 in today’s funds). At the suggestion of then pastor, Dr. Roy Clifford, the church initiated discussion of using the funds as seed money for an endowment or reserve fund. On May 19, 1968, a resolution adopting a formal endowment fund, “…which would benefit the church in perpetuity,” was approved by the church. 

A Board of Directors was named in August of that year, it was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Accounts were established and by October, an initial deposit of more than $50,000 was made. 

In 1969 the Endowment Fund began operations in earnest to receive gifts and make bequests to ministries of the church and other designated causes as specified in its original charter. These include: 

  • Missions at home and abroad 
  • Worship ministries 
  • Educational ministries 
  • Fostering the development of Christian home life and Christian higher education 
  • Capital building improvements 
  • Social services in the name of Christ 
  • Camp opportunities for children and youth 
  • Ministries to individuals in crisis 
  • Christian recreational activities 

From the initial balance of $50,000, the fund has grown to more than $3,000,000 at the beginning of 2021 through the vision and generosity of Tabernacle members and donors.

Tabernacle’s Endowment:
Supporting Work Internationally

Rob & Amanda Rone

When Tabernacle members Rob and Amanda Rone moved to Myanmar (Burma) in 2015, they met many adults who wanted or needed supplemental English education to help them achieve vocational or academic goals. So in 2017 Rob and Amanda launched the Firm Foundation Training Center in the town of Pyin Oo Lwin.

Firm Foundation offers adult English classes and training to empower the people of Burma to grasp growing opportunities in business, academics, trade and tourism. More importantly, the center brings together people of very different backgrounds to study and learn alongside one another. 

Their daughter Eleanora was born in 2019. The Rones are thankful for the support given by Tabernacle and the Endowment that has enabled them to teach, fellowship and “share life together” with their students, showing by example what God’s all-inclusive love means.

Doug & Lea Coppage

In 1992, Lea and Doug Coppage went to Hungary with a small Virginia Baptist team for two weeks of construction work at the Hungarian Baptist Union’s summer camp. Because Doug was a trained sign interpreter, ten years later they moved to Budapest with their seven-year-old daughter to begin a two-year term working with the Deaf. Returning to Virginia in 2004, they joined Richmond’s Tabernacle Baptist Church. But their love for Hungary remained and in 2005 they returned to live and work in the city of Vác.

Doug’s work as a sign interpreter led to connections with aDeaf School in the city of Vác, where he worked with hearing impaired orphans. He has also taught private English students and volunteered with the Deaf School teaching English and computers skills. More recently he continues to tutor in English and since 2006 he and another American ex-pat have helped Hungarian kids learn to play baseball.

Lea works as an English teacher at one of the top technical high schools in the country. Since 2008, she has taught Conversational English, I.T. English, and American Culture and History.

Daughter Karen grew up in Hungary and after finishing her degree at William & Mary, moved back to Hungary as a software engineer and was recently married to husband, Balázs.

The Coppages thank Tabernacle and the Endowment for the support that has allowed them, not only to stay in Hungary, but encouraged them to do more than they even thought was possible.

Some other Ministries Supported by the Endowment

Enabling the present…

Ensuring the Future


The Tabernacle Baptist Church Endowment encourages church members to think not only about annual support of the fund, but also how you can help the Endowment maintain the church’s ministries in the long term. The members of the Endowment Board are always happy to discuss the full range of giving options, including cash, securities, real estate and other personal property, bequests through wills, life insurance policies, and charitable trusts. 

Bequests Under Will

In your will you can leave a bequest to the church endowment. We can provide you with suggested wording, a sample codicil to include with your existing will, or put you in touch with a legal professional who can assist you with preparing your will to include a gift to the Endowment. 

Charitable Trust

A Charitable Trust is a tax-saving and effective way to transfer assets to the Endowment while providing you with an income source. There are several basic types of Charitable Trusts, and each type has different benefits. To determine which one is best for you, please talk with your tax or investment professional.

Life Estate

Real property may be given to the Endowment with the right of the owner to use or occupy the property for one’s lifetime. These properties must be deeded to the Endowment and individual areas of responsibility clearly defined.

Insurance Policies

Life insurance policies designating the Endowment Fund as primary or partial beneficiary, are an excellent way to ensure future support for the Tabernacle Endowment. 

Direct Gifts of Stocks, Bonds and Cash

Stocks, bonds and cash, as well as real and personal property, may be given to the Endowment during your lifetime to build and strengthen the fund. 

To learn more, please contact any member of the TBC Endowment Board
or contact the church office 804-355-0134