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People follow pastor’s lead on generous giving

By Polly House

La vonne meyer 350
LaVonne Meyer

Seeing her pastor involve himself in fundraising by talking with the congregation, involving people outside the church, and giving his own money made church member LaVonne Meyer more than just willing to contribute to the capital campaign. She was excited to give.

A 100-year-old church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo., needed repairs, expensive ones. The roof needed work, the stone walls needed tuck-pointing, and the bell tower needed repairs.

“We really aren’t an exception,” Meyer, a member of the church’s administrative board, said. “I’m sure there are many historic churches like ours who need to raise funds to make expensive repairs. It is a balance of being in our beautiful historic building and having the budget for its upkeep.”

The church needed to raise about $50,000 to cover the repairs, so the Rev. Tex Sample got to work on a capital campaign.

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Deliberate fundraising helps aging church make needed repairs

A large, old building and delayed maintenance. Our church faced the problems of many congregations. We needed work on the roof, tuck-pointing of the building’s stone walls, and repair of the bell tower. Initial estimates suggested the repairs would cost about $50,000. That was a huge amount for us. We needed a capital campaign to raise the money for the much-needed repairs.

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“I think what was really key for us was the way Tex managed that capital campaign,” Meyer said. “He reached out privately to our top ten givers and explained the problem to them. After he got commitments from those families, he talked to others. When he’d raised more than $30,000, he brought it to the rest of the church. It wasn’t hard to get the rest of the congregation to commit to $20,000. Everyone wants to join a winning team.”

I’m sure there are many historic churches like ours who need to raise funds to make expensive repairs. It is a balance of being in our beautiful historic building and having the budget for its upkeep.

Meyer said she ran into a former Trinity pastor at the airport not long ago. The pastor said she was excited that the church has Tex as its pastor.

“He is a legend, but doesn’t act like it,” Meyer said. “He is a living embodiment of God’s love for the world -- how he reacts with people, his tenacity. At 85, he still has so much energy. We know he won’t ask us to do anything he won’t do, including contributing to the capital campaign. He doesn’t just assign work. He does work, and we want to match that enthusiasm.”

Interview with Rev. Tex Sample


When Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City needed to raise $50,000 for much-needed repairs to their historic building, the congregation of 75 found themselves facing a big challenge. The Rev. Tex Sample shares with Ken Sloane the journey of Trinity's capital campaign.