Thursday, August 8, 2019

Preparing for the Future

By: Richard Carnes

Scripture and life experiences teach that there are important differences between capital and income. Income is earned on a regular basis and is spent meeting daily needs. Unspent income typically becomes part of our capital and is invested in savings accounts, houses, retirement accounts, businesses and more. We work hard to accumulate sufficient capital over our working years to enable us to live off the income the capital produces when we cease working to earn a regular salary.

Another word for capital might be “endowment”. An endowment is simply a collection of assets that are invested to produce income that can be used for personal or charitable purposes. We most commonly think of endowment as financial assets and investments, but the Old Testament contains significant examples of God using capital to advance His Kingdom. In reading Genesis 41 we learn of a time early in Israel’s history when God used Joseph to advise the king of Egypt to store grain in anticipation of a looming seven years of famine. God inspired Joseph, and this grain storage became an endowment that kept the people from starvation. From this saved population descended the Savior of the world.

As we evaluate what God has entrusted to us in the way of capital assets within our estates, we must acknowledge the three possible destinations for our assets. We can transfer assets to loved ones, to Christian ministries that have significantly impacted our lives, or we can endow the U.S. Government through taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service. Fortunately, many faithful Baptists are looking at the ministries of their churches and prayerfully considering what God is inspiring them to do. Individuals can help sustain Christian ministries during a time when their local church may experience a “famine” of financial support for regular ministry efforts.

Your Kentucky Baptist Foundation is available to assist you and your church prepare for the future. We welcome your questions.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Working Together

By: Richard Carnes 

God in his perfect wisdom, created people for relationship with him and to live and work in relationship with each other. In response to a question about success Henry Ford stated, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” When I contemplate this quote, I see many ways Southern Baptists have lived this statement through thousands of Baptist churches and millions of Baptist members, by choosing to voluntarily cooperate and combine their efforts for the building of God’s Kingdom. One of the most obvious examples of this collaboration is the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program enables Southern Baptists to accomplish more for Christ together than we ever could on our own. Cooperative Program funds provide the foundational support for statewide, national and global missions and ministry efforts. What a God inspired example of working in relationship with each other!

May I invite you to join a special group of individuals who have designated future gifts to this vital ministry funding source? These gifts will help ensure future missions, evangelistic, educational and care giving ministries and help enrich and save lives for many years to come. Your legacy gifts directed for the benefit of the Cooperative Program are an investment with eternal implications that will be working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to connect people all over the world to Jesus Christ.

As Southern Baptists, we can rejoice that we’ve “come together,” “kept together,” and “worked together” through the Cooperative Program. When you consider how you may choose to support the Cooperative Program, I encourage you to talk with Kentucky Baptist Foundation staff and your legal and tax advisors who can assist you in determining which legacy gift strategies best achieve your giving goals in light of your overall estate and financial plan.



Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, PO Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Announcing Retirement of Kentucky Baptist Foundation President Richard Carnes

Richard Carnes, President & CEO, of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation has announced his intention to retire a year from now, effective June 30, 2020, after completing 12 years of service to Kentucky Baptists. Carnes served as the Foundation President and CEO from 1988 to 1995 and has currently served a second term beginning in 2015 as its President and CEO. Mr. Carnes had also served with the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board financial staff from 1982 until 1988.

Mr. Carnes stated, “I am a fortunate individual that has been blessed, not once but twice, to serve in an executive leadership role with the Kentucky Baptist Foundation. The opportunity to serve my Lord and Savior through this stewardship ministry and to be a fellow servant with tremendous men and women of the Foundation Board is an honor and a privilege that I will forever cherish.”

“Each executive, at their own time, begins to contemplate when the baton of leadership should be passed and personal retirement from the daily leadership responsibilities of the office should occur. My wife Karen and I have actively prayed about this decision for several months. As the personal sense of rightness of this decision began to solidify in my heart and mind, I decided this is the right time to inform the KBF Board of Directors of my intent to retire from my position one year from now.”

Mr. Carnes noted that he had “a great sense of satisfaction to report that the KBF is in a healthy relationship position with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and its churches. I discerned soon upon my beginning this most current tour of service with the KBF, that these relationships would be my primary task and the focus of my energies. The leadership of the KBF Board of Directors and the KBC have been a vital part of this effort and I’m confident they feel we’ve advanced the mission of the Foundation. “

Carnes emphasized that “the KBF is blessed to have in place, a solid staff of professionals that foster a wonderful atmosphere of collegiality with each other and a commitment to serve every one of our clients in a Christ-honoring way. I have been honored to be their colleague. Please pray with them and for them as they too walk through this time of transition. The Foundation is also very fortunate to have the benefit of the wise counsel of our long tenured corporate legal counsel, Randy Gibson, and the long-standing professional services of our other external vendors that provide great operational stability.”

KBF board Chair, Charles Barnes, stated that “Richard Carnes was indeed God’s man for this era in the history of KBF’s ministry to Kentucky Baptists. The Kentucky Baptist Foundation, thanks to Richard Carnes’ leadership, is positioned to have a strong impact in providing resources for KBC missions and ministries.”

The KBF Executive Committee will serve as the Search Committee for Carnes’ successor. Information about how to submit a recommendation or application will be announced soon.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Your Christian Legacy


By: Richard Carnes

Your legacy – have you ever thought about what that will be? Most of us would like to make a difference in the lives of our loved ones and the ministries important to us. We take steps to make sure they will be taken care of when we are no longer here on this earth. We have the opportunity to provide this care by putting plans in place through proper planning of our financial estate. But have you also thought about memorializing your Christian faith through the written statement of your last will and testament?

Estate documents can present a wonderful opportunity to leave behind a written testimony of your faith in Christ. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody’s Will contained this great example as a lasting expression of his eternal confidence in Christ. “You may have heard that I died. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am alive and well, enjoying the presence of God for eternity. It’s my hope that you will take great joy in my recent promotion. It’s also my prayer and request that if you haven’t discovered the truth about God sending His son to die on the cross so that none should perish, you will seek His truth with great urgency as a personal favor to me.” Another enduring, clear statement was left by Patrick Henry, one of America’s Founding Fathers, who said, “If I had all the goods this world can offer but had not faith in Christ, I would amongst all men be poor indeed.”

You can create your own letter to loved ones, affirming and encouraging them. Consider joining the many Christians who, as a part of their estate planning, have made such statements either by incorporating them into the text of their planning documents, or in letters to be found with their documents following their deaths. Such statements would be a your positive witness of the importance of going the distance in trusting Christ, to those loved ones you leave behind.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Christian’s Estate Plan

By: Richard Carnes

As with most things, the world’s way of approaching estate planning is profoundly different from God’s way. Estate planning affects literally everything we consider ours. Because of that, it is the single most important act of stewardship we will ever undertake. 

Sometimes an event causes a person to confront their mortality, and they engage in introspection about their relationships and values. Possibly the person is stimulated to complete an estate plan they have long postponed and finally take the steps to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled. Maybe they start thinking about the ways they can use lifetime accumulations to make a difference for God’s Kingdom in the lives of the next generation.

As believers we understand that God is the owner of everything; in estate planning we are merely arranging to transfer stewardship responsibility, hopefully in a way that would please the One who has created and who owns all things. God said in Psalm 50:10-12, “… for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.”

In preparing our estate we are faced with a number of fundamental considerations that go to the heart of creating an estate plan that reflects God’s priorities. How shall I provide for my family members? What kind of eternal impact do I want to make through ministries that have been important to me and my loved ones over the course of our lives?

At the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, we emphasize that a complete estate plan is an affirmation of the meaning of your life – what you ultimately value, your affections, and the ways in which you want your life to have made a difference for God’s Kingdom.

Because the tools and techniques available to the believer are equally available to the non-Christian, there can inherently be nothing about the tools themselves that make an estate plan “Christian”. Rather, it’s the design of the estate plan. It is the prayer and careful thought put into it that will determine how well it reflects Biblical priorities.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; www.KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Family Decisions

By: Richard Carnes

When composing or updating wills and estate documents, a couple will naturally discuss how to divide their estate. Many questions arise during these discussions. Do you leave equal amounts to your children? Will each child be a wise steward of the inheritance or have they proven irresponsible with money? Should differing amounts spent for each child’s education impact the division? Do you include any provisions for legacy gifts to the charities with which you are connected?

These are difficult questions, and parents often delay creating or updating a will to avoid answering them. As we wrestle with these questions, keep the following in mind:

· During their lifetimes, parents often give unequal amounts to children based on different needs – but they hesitate to leave unequal bequests, for they don’t want their last words to seem to convey unequal affection.

· If you do plan to leave unequal bequests to your children, talk to them while you are living: explain what you are doing and why.

· You can treat children and family members fairly without providing for them in the same way. For example, a prudent way to provide for a family member who is irresponsible or unsophisticated with money is through a trust from which the family member will receive regular income but have limited access to principal of the trust.

· Your Christian values can be a part of your estate legacy. By including your church and other Christian ministries in your estate plan, you set an example to your family and community of your commitment as a Christ follower.

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation is honored to work with individuals seeking how best to organize their estate planning priorities. Our staff works to help clients achieve their personal and charitable goals, including how to provide for their families and support their church and other Baptist causes. We cannot relieve you of the hard choices you have to make when dividing your estate among children and other family members, but we can assist you with ways to make estate gifts to fulfill your family and charitable objectives. To learn more, you may contact the Foundation staff at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Do I Need A Will?

By: Richard Carnes

Is it truly necessary for us to have Wills? This is a common question we receive at the Foundation.

The answer is: Yes, you need a Will!

Yes, there are multiple ways to pass property to a surviving spouse, such as joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and beneficiary designations. Nevertheless, everyone should have a Will for the following six reasons:


  • To be a good steward – a good estate plan reduces death taxes and probate expenses, leaving more for you to pass to your family and charitable causes at your death.
  •  To avoid the “Will” the state has written for you – Kentucky’s “Intestate Succession Statute” – the state’s plan of asset distribution may not meet your family’s needs or accomplish your estate planning objectives. 
  • To retain input - Making a Will allows you to determine who will get your assets and how the recipients will receive those assets at your death.
  • Making a Will allows you to designate whom you want to be appointed as guardian for your children if both parents die before your children reach age 18.
  • Making a Will assures smooth administration (probate) of your estate at your death.
  • Making a Will allows you to name an executor who will handle the tasks of determining what you own at death, paying your final debts and expenses, managing the assets in your estate, preparing all required tax returns and distributing your assets as your Will directs. 

The Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s “Common Mistakes Everyone Makes In Estate Planning”seminar can provide more answers about why you need a Will. Contact Richard Carnes at richard.carnes@kybaptist.orgto schedule this one-hour, free seminar at your church.

Also, if you have questions about Christian estate planning strategies or want to request a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Kentucky Baptist Foundation’s trust counsel, Austin Wilkerson at austin.wilkerson@kybaptist.orgor call the Foundation’s toll-free number (866) 489-3533.

Richard Carnes is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P O Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.