Jerry LaBrake: The Charitable Gift Annuity is a "Wonderful Thing"
"I think this Charitable Gift Annuity is a wonderful thing." Jerry has been a member of FUMC since 1971 and over the past ten years, has secured three Charitable Gift Annuities with FUMC. "I told my bank, "Your interest rate is so low that you are virtually stealing money from my account!" After having a few of those low interest CD's mature, Jerry invested those funds in a Charitable Gift Annuity at FUMC, which will be added to the Endowment at a future date. In the meantime, he's enjoyed interest rates of between 4% and 4.8% return on his investment. "Not only does the interest pay back at a good rate, but there are significant tax savings as well." What he means is that some of that annual annuity payment that he receives is tax free, and a significant amount of the original gift is tax deductible.
Jerry grew up in Rochester NY but came to Michigan to attend GMI (now Kettering) to study engineering. While studying there he also received some practical experience, all of which was credited to his career at GM. During his schooling he attended a dance, met this woman who captured his attention and would become his wife in October 1953. Their wedding day was on her parents' 30th wedding anniversary. A short ten months later they were parents with their son Greg. Jerry retired from GM after 30 years when he was 50, and said, "I think it was the Holy Spirit talking to me" as they soon thereafter learned of his wife's debilitating illness that would put her in a wheelchair for the next 23 years. "It was a blessing to be retired so I could take care of her."
"We joined FUMC on December 5, 1971, when Dr. Thomas was our Senior Pastor." They became close to Dr. Thomas and stayed in touch with him throughout his retirement. "All of our pastors have been wonderful leaders and spiritually inspiring." Jerry is currently involved in the Faith Builders Sunday School class, and formerly was a member of the Pathfinders. His son Greg has been in the choir for 41 years and coordinates the visitor attendance for the 4th Sunday each month.
When Jerry had triple bypass heart surgery. During his hospitalization and recovery, he was surrounded by the love of the church, from pastoral visits to his many friends who sent cards, called with prayers, and stepped in to help whenever it was needed. "I thank God every day for my life, and this church."