Founded in 1860, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Owensboro, has always felt the call to serve. Located at 700 JR Miller Blvd, the church has endured hardships, yet remained deeply tied to the neighborhood it calls home.
When lightning struck the church in March 2013, the church was completely destroyed by fire. While this was a devastating loss, over time it would prove to be a source of strength and renewed hope for Owensboro and Daviess County.
“The fire was such a trauma for our church. It was a difficult time, and it was difficult to know what to do,” said Senior Minister Chris Michael. “What we did know was that this is where we wanted to remain, and this is where we wanted to leave a legacy.”
When plans to rebuild began to form, a unique concept emerged. Rather than rebuild the church to its full capacity, a fund was set up utilizing insurance payments and previous church endowments.
“The Legacy Fund,” established in 2016, has since been used diligently to help “bless” the city of Owensboro.
“Our mission, so to speak, is to be a constant heartbeat within the community,” Michael said. “We want to do all we can to help, and right here at home.”
To date, The Legacy Fund has been used to assist various organizations and individuals within Owensboro and Daviess County. A unique aspect of the program is the diverse needs that are met annually.
In 2018, an estimated $36,000 to $40,000 in assistance was given out to roughly 20 to 25 different recipients. Of those recipients, organizations like Goodfellows, Imagination Library, Fresh Start for Women, Foust and Sutton Elementary School and Foundation for Daviess County Public Schools all benefitted.
Most recently, The Legacy Fund helped aid a set of students at Owensboro Community & Technical College with educational expenses. The organization prides itself in “making a difference” and “hopes to help others discover joy by serving.”
“In essence, we took part of what we could have had and instead decided to give it away,” Michael said. “We hope to look back at all the people and places we’ve helped, and know we did as much as we possibly could.”
The Legacy Fund committee group meets monthly to review applications, and then issues awards over a 12-month period.
Applicants are encouraged to contact First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Owensboro for more information on how to apply. Contact information can be found on their website.