At First Presbyterian Church (FPC) Richmond, our mission is to inspire people to faith in Jesus Christ, nurture disciples of Christ, and serve the world God loves to the glory of God. For over two hundred years, in six different locations, FPC has been a vibrant Christian community living into our vision to follow Jesus Christ, respect one another, and be welcoming to all. We are strengthened and inspired through worship, study, prayer, and service. In so doing, we seek to improve the lives of future generations by supporting families through the milestones of birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage, retirement, and death, and by seeking to improve the lives of our neighbors in Richmond and beyond through meaningful engagement with our brothers and sisters in need. During the past two centuries, FPC has deepened its impact on individuals and the community, seeking to offer the unique grace, love, and fellowship of God we have learned in the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We are committed to continuing this sacred work well into the future and to making sure this church is here for future generations of Christ’s disciples in the same way it has been here to comfort, challenge, convict, and inspire so many generations past. Join us in ensuring that the legacy of this congregation continues well into God’s future by becoming a contributor to The First Fund. 

Scroll down to learn more about The First Fund and Planned Giving. 

The First Fund: What and Why?

The First Fund has been established by the Session as an unrestricted sub-fund of the FPC Endowment Fund. All planned giving commitments will be solicited on behalf of the The First FundThe First Fund is intended to have a perpetual life with distributions of principal and interest as authorized by the FPC Endowment Board of Directors to or for the benefit of First Presbyterian. The long-term goal is to grow the endowment funds such that annual distributions from the unrestricted sub-funds are sufficient to fund yearly building and grounds expenses. The Planned Giving Leadership Team concluded it would benefit the planned giving initiative to establish a separate Endowment sub-fund for receipt of all planned giving gifts.

First Presbyterian, Richmond is the largest church in the Presbytery of the James and one of the largest and oldest PC(USA) churches in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Despite our size and history, our financial resources lag far behind many of our peer churches. We are proud of our ability to be wise and strategic with our current resources. However, we also know that we have the potential to do so much more in the name of Christ, and we want to ensure continued vitality and leadership of this flagship church through unrestricted planned giving and a substantially healthier endowment fund.

Planned giving is a form of stewardship that allows us to create and leave behind a legacy to sustain and strengthen the ministries of First Presbyterian in perpetuity. Planned giving provides a means for each of us to continue our support for the things that are most important to us and do so for generations to come.

Spend some time at First Presbyterian Church and you will soon discover a community deeply rooted in the stories and promises of the gospel and individuals committed to living out their faith in service to one another and to the world. This is certainly a reflection of the faithful example set by past generations who have generously shared their resources of time, talent, and treasure with God’s church so that each subsequent generation may discern God’s calling in their time and place.

Throughout our history, we at First Presbyterian have remained steadfast to our understanding that it is not a building or a program that makes a church; rather, a church is the people who come together because they have been inspired by the gospel – God’s love revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and because they have been called to inspire, nurture, and serve others. As we read in 1 John, “We love because God first loved us.”

May this steadfast commitment and service continue to be passed from generation to generation, that First Presbyterian Church in Richmond can be a light to our neighborhood, community, city, and world, today, and for all the days to come.

The First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund was organized as a separate corporation in 1969, and has grown to approximately $4.1 million as of December 31, 2023. The stated purpose of the Endowment Fund is “to establish and hold in perpetuity a fund, the income and principal of which may be used from time to time as the Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund may determine, either wholly or partially, for the increase of the Fund, for the uses and purposes of First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, or for such other purposes as may be appropriate and permitted.”

The Board of Directors of the Endowment Fund consists of a minimum of six persons, at least two of whom are required to be active members of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Two directors are elected annually by the Session for three-year terms. The financial statements of the Endowment Fund are prepared separately and are not consolidated with the financial statements of First Presbyterian.

The Endowment Fund is currently comprised of thirteen different sub-funds, established at different times and for different purposes. The First Fund is an unrestricted sub-fund of the Endowment Fund.

Since the mid-1970s, the Endowment Fund has made an annual contribution to the operating budget of First Presbyterian from its unrestricted sub-funds. The annual contribution to First Presbyterian Church is calculated based on the average balance, for the most recent three years, of the assets held at year end in the unrestricted sub-funds. In 2023, the amount distributed from the unrestricted sub-funds of the Endowment Fund to First Presbyterian Church was $122,851 which amounted to 4% of the average end-of-year amount in the unrestricted sub-funds for the most recent 3 years. The 4% distribution policy reflects the Board’s determination that such a rate assures the long-term sustainability of the source funds in light of historical and expected investment returns.

At year-end 2023, substantially all of the assets held by the Endowment Fund were invested by Blue Edge Capital, an institutional investment firm headquartered in Richmond, in a diversified portfolio of equity and fixed income securities.

Rewards of Contributing

When you contribute to The First Fund, you assure future generations will have the opportunity to receive the same spiritual gifts that First Presbyterian Church has nurtured in you. Our deep commitment to First Presbyterian is an inspiration and allows a community to flourish and to nurture its own members as well as people far beyond our walls. Today’s gifts are crucial, and tomorrow’s gifts are precious beyond words, as they show strong support for First Presbyterian to continue as a living legacy. Seminars will provide information to members on tax and estate planning in an effort to keep them informed of any changes in the law.

What are popular forms of planned gifts?

  • BEQUEST: Provides for loved ones, the church and others through a provision in your will. It can be a specific asset, a dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate.
  • ENDOWING AN ANNUAL PLEDGEAllows you to endow your annual pledge to First Presbyterian so that your pledge continues to support vital ministries for generations.
  • LIFE INSURANCEAllows you to make a larger gift with the smaller cost of an insurance policy.
  • INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT (IRA): Offers potential tax savings by designating the church as beneficiary.
  • REVOCABLE LIVING TRUSTAllows you to control the distribution of your assets, including those to the church, without probate.
  • CHARITABLE REMAINDER TRUST: Allows you, as the donor, or other named beneficiaries to receive income for life while making a major gift to the church.
  • CHARITABLE LEAD TRUST: Allows you, as the donor, to provide income to the church for a period of time, but later have the principal of the trust distributed to your heirs or other named beneficiaries.
  • May I memorialize a loved one?
    Of course! Contributors to The First Fund may designate any of the planned giving vehicles in memory of someone else.
  • May I designate a Planned Gift for a purpose?
    Yes, although we encourage you to make planned gifts to The First Fund without restrictions or designations, so that succeeding generations can make prudent decisions for effective ministry in the future. The corpus of the endowment is protected in perpetuity: the income from the corpus can be used as each generation assesses the church’s most timely and urgent needs.

Creative Giving

Here is some information on how to make gifts you didn’t think you could make using assets you had not thought about using.

Qualified Charitable IRA Distribution Gift of Stock Retirement Residuals & Bequests

Ready to Join?

The church has grown steadily since its founding by a small group of people dedicated to their faith and to sharing it with the people of Richmond, Virginia. As times have changed, we remain a vibrant, growing community of faith, intent on caring for those both inside and outside of our walls. Planned gifts help strengthen our future, assuring donors that their gifts will bear fruit for generations.

Download Membership Form


Contact one of the Planned Giving Committee members listed below:

Shep Haw

Jim Irby

Gaylon Layfield

Clark Lewis

MR Litman

Jimmy Rose

Missy Ryan

Staff contact person:
Debra Harris
804-358-2383 ext. 117