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$500,000 Cooperative Program gift not surprising from Dick Dantzler


GREAT FALLS, S.C. (BP)–Evelyn Dantzler is the picture of small-town comfort, sitting on her back porch in a wicker chair, visiting with her daughter and son-in-law, and recalling with a sometimes gruff fondness her late husband, Dick.

Weldon Fallaw, president of the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina, recalls Dick Dantzler purely with respect and gratefulness. As well he should, considering Dantzler’s estate gift through the Cooperative Program endowment to support state, national and international Baptist missions and ministries.

“Mr. Dantzler had a philanthropic concern for his church and for world missions,” says Fallaw, who oversaw the execution of Dantzler’s estate.

“By donating such a gift to the Cooperative Program through the Baptist Foundation, he insured that his concerns would continue to be supported.”

The gift of nearly $500,000 is the largest single donation through the Cooperative Program in the history of the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina. Only the earnings from the trust will be distributed to support Baptist beneficiaries of the Cooperative Program.

Evelyn, Dantzler’s wife, and their daughter, Patricia, treat the whole issue very matter-of-factly. Dantzler’s history included a litany of giving — from church projects to local charities and individuals to world missions. Accustomed to that atmosphere, Evelyn and Patricia consider his gift — large as it was — simply a matter of course.

Dick Dantzler co-owned the Dantzler-Baker Funeral Home in Great Falls for 31 years, at one point also running a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in the small town near Lancaster. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Great Falls, where he served as deacon and trustee. He died in November 1997.

The Baptist Foundation served as personal representative of Dantzler’s estate as part of its ministry.

Christian estate planning is one of several services such offered by state foundation offices, free of charge, to Baptists, along with speakers for estate conferences and investment services to churches and institutions of the state convention. With estate planning, individuals can ensure that their money continues to support the causes they endorsed while alive.

“Such a large gift through the Cooperative Program goes a long way,” notes Fallaw, “to missions work, to missionaries, to educational institutions. It’s a real joy to see such men as Mr. Dantzler be able to continue their positive impact even after death through Christian estate planning.”
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  • Amanda Phifer