Murray First UMC celebrates $2.4 million endowment gift willed by John and Rebecca Irvan


An endowment gift of $2.4 million was presented to Murray First United Methodist Church in Murray, KY, on Nov. 1. TOP PHOTO: From left are Dr. Rick Dye, the church's senior pastor and chair of the church's endowment committee; Roy Riley, endowment trustee; Sid Easley, friend of John and Rebecca Irvan who willed the money; and Dr. Philip Jamieson. president of the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences. BOTTOM PHOTO: Items on display at Murray First UMC remember John and Rebecca Irvan, who willed $2.4 million endowment to their church. (SUBMTTED PHOTOS)

Murray First United Methodist Church received a gift for All Saints Day on Sunday, Nov. 1: $2.4 million.
During the Murray, Ky., congregation’s morning worship service, it was announced that late members John and Rebecca Irvan willed $2.4 million in an endowment to the church. According to the Murray Ledger and Times, the two died in 2004 and in 2009, respectively.
Sid Easley, a friend of the Irvans, spoke about the couple and their generosity. He said they had been members of the church for nearly 65 years and wouldn’t have wanted any attention for their actions. But, Easley said, their gift speaks highly of them and the church.
“When I think of John and Rebecca Irvan, the word ‘hospitality’ comes to mind,” said Easley, who described the couple as active members devoted to their church who gave to it unconditionally—even after death.
Having known the Irvans for more than 40 years, Easley, said, "I can tell you that this is what they always wanted to do and they never had any second thoughts about it."
Easley announced that Murray First UMC is carrying out the Irvans' wishes for the money by investing it in an endowment (with the United Methodist Foundation of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences) for “permanent church improvements or construction of church property.”
“This extraordinary gift—the largest ever given to this church—is an example for all of us of what it means to maintain a perpetual covenant with the church,” said Easley. “As faithful members of this church, we can do our part by assuring that we follow the directions expressed in their sacred last will and testament.”