Planned Giving with a Purpose

April 26, 2022

LONGVIEW, TEX. – Arturo and Irma Zarate are founding members of the Longview Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church. Arturo serves as deacon and music leader, while Irma serves as deaconess and has helped with children’s ministries. They both have been very active in their church, helping with Vacation Bible Schools, youth clubs, maintaining the church property and various other church projects. They love God and they love their church. 

Recently, they realized that part of being a good steward is to make sure that what God has given them goes to the right place once they are no longer here. They knew they needed to have a will, financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney and an advanced directive made for each of them and reached out to the Texas Conference. 

Today, they feel at peace knowing that what God has given them will go into the hands of their loved ones and to the church they love so much. Arturo and Irma say that it was so easy and now they don’t have to worry about it anymore. 

There are three trust officers in the Texas Conference. I assist the Houston and East Texas areas. Deyvy Rodriguez assists those in the Austin, San Antonio and South Texas areas. Uzziel Maldonado assists those in the North Texas area. It is common to find one of us preaching at a church and presenting a workshop on Planned Giving & Trust Services or Stewardship.

Many express concerns about creating a will as if it will shorten their lifespan somehow. The reality, though, is everyone has a Will. If you don’t create your own to specify what you want to happen, the government, through probate court, will do their best to guess. Wouldn’t you rather decide what happens to your finances and property? It is especially important if you have children. If you don’t formalize what happens to them if something happens to you, they may go to someone that would not have been your preference. 

Planned Giving also provides an opportunity to leave a legacy gift to further the gospel in an area of your choice. If you are passionate about evangelism, Lake Whitney Ranch or Adventist education, you could specify a specific amount or percentage to that area.

The Texas Conference Planned Giving & Trust Services/Stewardship website,, shares a variety of resources as well as giving options. People are surprised to learn that besides cash, they are able to donate life insurance, IRA rollovers, retirement assets, stocks, bonds, securities, real estate, vehicles, collections and more to the ministry of their choice furthering God’s work today and beyond.

Lynette Ecord, Planned Giving & Trust Services director, has worked in this department for 29 years. “It is an honor to assist those preparing their documents, so their families know their wishes,” Ecord shared. “It is especially gratifying seeing the legacy gifts to further God’s work here in Texas.” All documents are reviewed by an attorney making sure everything is correct.  

If you are interested in knowing more about how we can assist you with your estate planning, email us at or call 817.783.2223 x2105.


By Marshall Gonzales
Trust Officer Houston/East Texas