BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP) — Mike Weeks, president of the Southern Baptist Foundation from 2002-07, died Saturday, March 17, in Brentwood, Tenn., after an extended battle with cancer.
At the time of his death, Weeks, 63, had been chairman of the Union University Foundation since 2010. He was chairman of Union’s board of trustees from 2002-05.
“All of us here at the Southern Baptist Foundation mourn the passing of Mike Weeks and unite in honoring the exemplary legacy of a man of faith,” said Warren Peek, who was named as the foundation’s president after Weeks’ retirement in June 2007.
“We fully appreciate Mike’s leadership, honesty and dedication to the foundation’s mission of helping this generation touch the next generation for Christ,” Peek said. “I know that my staff and I will miss his visits and good humor. He always had a welcome, constructive word of advice. As Philippians 1:3 says, ‘I thank my God in all remembrance of you.'”
David S. Dockery, Union’s president, voiced thankfulness to God “for the faithful life and witness of Mike Weeks. We are especially grateful for his years of loyal service in behalf of the Union University board of trustees as well as the Union Foundation board.”
On March 7, Weeks sent an email to friends, stating, “We had a good long discussion with the Drs and agreed that there is nothing further medically that can be done. So, we will get their counsel on how to manage and then go home.
“We were a bit surprised (that’s an understatement!) but we continue to rest in our Lord’s perfect care,” Weeks continued. “And it’s exciting to think about soon meeting Jesus face to face! Please pray for us, that we can manage it well. And for Trish and our children. And know that all is well with my soul. Oh what a faithful loving and true Savior!”
In addition to his wife Trish, Weeks is survived by two sons, Scott and Brad, both of Franklin, Tenn.; a daughter, Cindy Pizza of Roswell, Ga.; and 10 grandchildren.
Prior to leading the Southern Baptist Foundation, Weeks had been vice chairman of BancorpSouth Bank since 1998 and executive vice president of BancorpSouth Inc., the bank’s holding company. He also served as executive vice president of BancorpSouth Trust and Asset Management Group.
From 1995-98, Weeks was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Volunteer Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of BancorpSouth. From 1970-94, he was a partner in KPMG Corporation of Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., specializing in services to financial companies, including banks, thrifts, mortgage banks and insurance companies.
Weeks, a native of Tupelo, Miss., held an accounting/business administration degree from Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.
Morris H. Chapman, upon Weeks’ 2007 retirement, said, “Mike has been a passionate steward for Southern Baptists and a vigilant voice for growing funding sources to support and expand SBC missions and ministries. He has served our Lord and Southern Baptists with impeccable integrity.”
In announcing Weeks’ selection in 2002, Bill Hall, chairman of the foundation’s search committee, stated, “Mike Weeks brings to the SBF a unique set of financial skills which were honed during a career in accounting and senior executive positions in the banking industry. To top it off, he has proven himself as an active and committed Baptist layman. I am very excited that we have identified a man willing to move from success in business to an opportunity for significance by serving the Lord at the foundation.”
Weeks, in his 2006 annual report, noted that “more than 70% of Americans have no will and thus no plan for the use of their assets after their death. That is an amazing statistic, but even more so if you consider this: it has been estimated that if only 1 in 10, only 10% of Southern Baptists were to tithe their estate (where the estate had an average value of only $250,000) that $4.0 billion would be given. And if they did, the earnings alone on this “endowment” would generate more revenue for the Cooperative Program (missions support, etc.) than does the total given to national CP today. … Clearly, the most significant act of financial stewardship any of us will make is from our single greatest asset, that of our estate.”
The Southern Baptist Foundation was established in 1947 to provide a range of investment and estate planning services for Southern Baptist Convention entities, institutions and individuals while supporting the SBC in its objective of spreading the Gospel. The foundation helps individuals and families to make both a current and eternal impact for the Gospel through their generosity while preserving wealth and sheltering estates from paying more taxes than necessary.
“Through the help of the foundation,” Peek said in a statement to Baptist Press, “the Gospel has been taken across the world, missionaries have been trained and encouraged, students have been educated to share the Gospel, churches have been planted, disaster relief has been funded, and so much more.”
Weeks’ funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 22, at Brentwood (Tenn.) Baptist Church. Visitation will be March 21 from 6-8 p.m. at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin, Tenn., and 10-10:45 a.m. March 22 at the church. Memorials may be made to Williams Evangelistic Ministries, 412 Little River Road, Canton, GA 30114, or to missionaries Adam and Kristen Simpson at globaloutreach.org/missionaries.
Art Toalston is editor of Baptist Press.