A Portrait of Spirit-Led Donors

by Neil McCall, President, Schweitzer Church Foundation

On any warm afternoon or evening, after a nice steak dinner, you might find Larry and Jeannette Dills on their porch with a sweet peach tea, watching the cattle graze, and enjoying God’s handiwork. If they aren’t home, they might be off on a journey in their motor home. They only have two more states to check off: Maine and North Dakota.

Larry and Jeannette did not grow up wealthy but they had what they needed. Larry had three siblings and Jeannette had eight.

From an early age, they were taught to save and to practice generosity. Early in their marriage, they saved something from every paycheck. When Larry was just a youngster growing up in Koshkonong, Missouri, his father helped to build their new church. This taught him love for the Lord.

Larry and Jeannette knew each other in high school but didn’t start dating until after. They have been married for 55 years. Following high school, Larry attended college and joined the Army.

He was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he programmed computers. After his military commitment was completed, Larry enjoyed a 40-year career in banking. Jeannette worked as a substitute teacher for many years.

In the 1980s, the bank Larry managed in Ava was asked to participate in funding the loan to Schweitzer when the church purchased the neighboring car lot—the place where the Student Center and the Flourish Food Pantry are now located. In the 1990s, when the Dills moved back to Springfield, they joined Schweitzer as members.

Throughout the Dills’ lives, they have faced many challenges. Jeannette accidentally lost an eye in a BB gun accident around age 5. Just recently, they lost a child and five other family members during the course of one year. Their strength is their faith.

Their response to life’s challenges is always Christ. They shared, “We don’t know how we would have survived without our belief in the Resurrection.“

Recently, the Holy Spirit moved the Dills to give a Living Gift to The Schweitzer Foundation. A Living Gift is one given during a donor’s lifetime.

A Legacy Gift is a bequest from an estate or one made by naming the Foundation a beneficiary of a retirement plan.

This spring, Larry will further support the Schweitzer Church Foundation by helping lead a class called “Binder for Life.” This three-session class is beneficial for adults of all ages and stages of life, but especially appreciated by those 50+ who want to insure loved ones have the documents needed to manage their affairs should they become incapacitated or pass away. During this class, you’ll learn about legacy gifts and much more. Learn more about the Binder for Life Class here.

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