A Legacy of Generosity: Launching the Schweitzer Foundation

Faithfulness and generosity have always been central to the Schweitzer Church story. With God’s leading, an acre of land on the edge of Springfield was given by the Schweitzer family for the purpose of beginning a new church in Southeast Springfield. Over 70 years ago, a small group of people began worshiping in a small sanctuary they helped build with their hands and generosity. 

Staying faithful and generous, this little church grew. With vision and leadership, the people of Schweitzer purchased 10 acres and a farmhouse where they worshiped while they pooled their resources and constructed a new sanctuary with room for new people. 

God blessed this new church that could now hold over 100 faithful worshipers. This space also filled up. With faithfulness and generosity, including major gifts, the congregation made room for hundreds more new people to worship and created spaces to serve the broader community. 

God’s character is generosity, and God has provided for Schweitzer over and over again. The people of Schweitzer, responding to God’s grace, have always been in a risk-taking mission, believing God was doing a new thing here. Major gifts from anyone can have a significant impact. For example, about a decade ago, a retired schoolteacher and railroad worker generously gave a legacy gift of $400,000 to provide for future ministry. Several decades ago, a gift helped create spaces where kids and adults today grow in their faith and connection with each other (Dodge Hall). A gift of $250,000 and a medical office building was received in the early ‘90s. This building, “Hoffman Hall,” now provides space for AA and NA on our campus. 

This program helps to restore lives, giving the gifts of hope and reconciliation. Generous giving and legacy gifts named in estates/wills — whether a piece of property, cash, or a percent of an estate — have significantly moved the Schweitzer mission forward. 

It’s in this same spirit, with vision and leadership, the Schweitzer Foundation was established in 2023. In our growing church, leaders recognized the opportunity to create a new way to reach new people and serve our community for generations to come. 

Many of us are familiar with foundations that support the ongoing missions of universities and hospitals; these are good for our community. Similarly, the Schweitzer Foundation will receive gifts that go beyond regular giving, tithes, and offerings. Every gift to the Foundation, small and large, will look beyond weekly ministry and operations to future missions and opportunities God provides. Giving to the Schweitzer Foundation will ensure future mission and ministry on this campus and beyond.

The Schweitzer Foundation will operate as a separate not-for-profit with its own Board of Directors. The Foundation Board members are: Neil McCall (President/Chair), Judy Breeding, John Travers, Phil Wieneke, Carolyn Hoffman, and Jenifer Roberts.

Jim Mason serves as the Foundation Director and Donna Roberts as the Secretary/Treasurer. 

We will be sharing more about the Schweitzer Foundation in the coming months, with a special launch event planned for Sunday, October 15.

You can learn more about the Schweitzer Foundation at schweitzer.church/foundation. 

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