Stewarding a Family Legacy

As the whispers of the Revolutionary War echoed across the colonies, a man named Richard Owings was surrendering to his call. He was the first native-born Methodist local preacher in what was to become the United States of America. In 1776, he officially began a twenty-year career as a local preacher. His ministry started in Baltimore, Maryland, but took him over the Allegheny Mountains into Pennsylvania and Virginia, planting seeds that would become entire circuits on the Circuit Riders’ map.  

His commitment to Methodism was fruitful and extensive, one his family has maintained for over two hundred years. “My family’s connections within the United Methodist Church are deep. It is part of our heritage. I inherited this legacy and I want to continue it,” Sandy Horn said, speaking about her grandmother’s great, great uncle Richard.     

Sandy has perpetuated her family’s legacy of Methodist commitment in many ways throughout her life and recently decided to do more. “I wanted to make a difference to Methodism beyond my local church,” Sandy shared. “I felt like I wanted to give to a bigger cause.” 

It wasn’t immediately clear how she would accomplish this goal. After attending a Putting Your House in Order workshop, which TMF hosts to encourage people to engage in conversations around family values and generosity, Sandy felt compelled to support the work of TMF as a way to support the larger United Methodist Church. After several conversations with the VP of Foundation Relations, Justin Gould, to discuss her family’s legacy and the philanthropic impact she wanted to make, Sandy made a significant gift of appreciated securities to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund in memory of her brother and in honor of her family. 

Her brother John was a radiologist and a navy man. For the last three years of his life, she cared for her younger brother. To steward the inheritance he left with her, she decided to invest it back into her family’s legacy.    

“I want to live up to this rich history I have been given,” Sandy shared. “I want to leave an example for my children and grandchildren, so they can see how I have stewarded my parents’ and John’s inheritance, so they know it was used for something good. I believe generosity is a lifestyle. It is a way of looking at the world with your eyes opened to all the opportunities you have to connect with people and make a difference.”