Skip to content
Students sitting outside Bockman

News from Luther Seminary newsletter banner

August 2012

Planned gifts help Gary Austin fulfill desire to support future church leaders

Throughout his life, Gary Austin has served as an active volunteer in his church and community. He first volunteered as an usher at his church while in high school and has performed that same service at every congregation he's belonged to since.

Austin is not only a dedicated volunteer, but also regularly gives to charitable organizations, including Luther Seminary. "I am very interested in serving the church," he said. "I've always tried to tithe. To reach my tithe, I donate regularly to both church and community organizations."

He has also given time to church boards and committees, including serving in officer positions. Now retired from a career as a chemistry lab technician, he gives back as a lay leader for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering twice a week. He also remains active in his congregation, Zumbro Lutheran in Rochester, Minn., where he continues his dedicated volunteer service as an usher.

Due to his charitable giving interest, Austin was invited into a conversation with a former pastor at Zumbro, which helped him find ways to expand his giving beyond the congregation. Through his pastor's guidance, Austin became more familiar with Luther Seminary and began making annual gifts.

"All my life, I have lived a fairly simple life. I have more than I need. Because I've been blessed, I've tried to find ways to give to help others. Luther Seminary is high on my list of institutions to help."

As he entered retirement, Austin took the next step in his gift planning by supporting Luther through a charitable gift annuity. "I'm getting to that point where I have to decide what to do with some retirement plans," he said. "By giving through a CGA, I knew Luther would eventually get some money, but that I'd have income, too."

Like Gary Austin, many donors have found that establishing a CGA at Luther Seminary offers many benefits:

  • Your initial gift is partially income tax--deductible.
  • Your charitable gift annuity payments are partially income tax--free throughout your estimated life expectancy.
  • Your payments are not affected by ups and downs in the economy.
  • The gift annuity can be for one or two people, so your spouse or another loved one can also receive payments for life.
  • If you use appreciated stock to make a gift, you can usually eliminate capital gains tax on a portion of the gift and spread the rest of the gain over your life expectancy.

Learn more about the benefits of giving to Luther Seminary through a CGA

A charitable gift annuity is just one of several options available when considering making a planned gift to support the preparation of these leaders at Luther Seminary. Learn more about all the ways you can make a planned gift by visiting

After determining what type of gift is best for you, you can find fulfillment in knowing that you are ensuring the church will have bold and faithful leadership for years to come. Ensure that Luther Seminary can continue to prepare servant leaders charged to share the good news of Christ through planned giving.

Contact John Kilbride in the Office of Seminary Relations at 888-358-8437 or For more information, visit

Stay up to date

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive timely resources and news you can use.

Sign up now