At Bartlesville First Church, we have four membership expectations:

• To worship regularly.
• To continue to grow in your faith by participating in a short term or ongoing small group.
• To serve God with your hands, by volunteering in service to the congregation, the community and the world.
• To give in proportion to your income.

We don’t tell you how much you should give to support the ministry of the church, but the Bible teaches us to give a tithe or ten percent to God. For many, the tithe is just the beginning as they experience the joy of giving far more to God’s ministry through the church. We hope if you are currently not tithing, you will commit a percentage of your income and increase that amount as you are able in the future until you reach the tithe.

Electronic Funds Transfer Giving

For your convenience, Bartlesville First Church provides an easy way for your family to tithe via Electronic Funds Transfer (ETF).  ETF is a safe, secure and easy method by which you can give to the church.  By enrolling in ETF, your tithe can be drawn directly from your checking account automatically and at no cost to you.  We do accept credit cards through ETF.  You can enroll your checking account or credit card when you click on the “Enroll in EFT” button below.

“You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.”
-2 Corinthians 9:11-12

ETF Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major advantages of electronic giving by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

EFT is all about convenience for you and consistency for the church. Electronic giving eliminates frequent check writing and helps members stay on track with pledges even when they are unable to attend services. The church in turn benefits from much-needed donation consistency and a reduction in the volume of check and cash contributions that must be handled and manually processed in the church office.

How does EFT giving work?

Contributions are transferred automatically from your checking accounts or savings account to the church’s bank account.

How are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?

First, you sign and return an authorization form to the church indicating the amount you wish to contribute on a regular basis. Contributions are then transferred through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network – the same network already used by families to make mortgage and utility payments or to receive payroll earnings and Social Security income. Direct debit goes by other names including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), automatic payment, or simply, ACH.

When will my contributions be debited from my account?

A debit to your account will occur each month on the date you specify on your authorization form.

How will I keep track of contributions in my check register?

Since your contribution is made at a pre-established time, you simply record it in your check register on the appropriate date. Electronic contributions will appear on your bank statement.

What can I use to prove I made a contribution?

Your bank statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions.

Is giving by direct debit risky?

It is certainly less risky than writing checks or carrying cash to church. To process electronic donations, the church uses Vanco Services, LLC – an established and high-regarded company that moves funds directly from church members to the church on the same day without any delay. Vanco processes contributions for more than 10,000 churches and nonprofit organizations.

How much does direct debit giving cost?

It costs you nothing and it costs the church very little. It is the lowest cost method of transferring funds.

What if I try electronic giving by direct debit and don’t like it?

You can cancel your authorization at any time by notifying the church.

How can I sign up for electronic giving by direct debit?

Complete, sign and return an authorization form to the church office.

Legacy Society

In June 2009, First Church established the Legacy Society to recognize and thank those who have provided for the church in their estate plan. Those who notified the church by June 2010 were to be designated charter members of the Legacy Society.

Below is a list of those individuals and couples who have taken this important step:

  • Charlie and Corky Bowerman
  • Fred Cook
  • Bruce and the late Virginia Price
  • Kent and Kayleen Thomas
  • Tom Graves
  • Kevin and Georgia Tully
  • Stan and Susan Mueller
  • Anonymous

Next time you see one of these people, please say thank you for remembering the church in their estate plan. To learn more about the Legacy Society and how you could include the church in your planned giving, please contact Wayne Ford, Director of Accounting for First Church or at the church office.

Planned Giving Program

Why do we encourage planned giving?

First Church encourages planned giving as an act of Christian generosity. It is a way for you to benefit future generations with the riches God has entrusted to you. Bartlesville First Church wants to enable its members and friends to ensure the long term ability of God’s church to be engaged in ministry. Planned gifts can provide a personal legacy that has enduring benefits and are a way you can benefit your interests beyond your personal lifetime.

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is usually contributed from a person’s assets – the things he or she owns – rather than income. Planned gifts may be in the form of a bequest, an annuity, a charitable trust or some other arrangement. Usually, planned gifts are received upon the death of the donor. Professional advice is usually required to establish a planned gift and to ensure that the gift’s intended benefit is achieved.

What are the types of planned gifts?

As is the case with other gifts, planned gifts may be restricted to a particular use or they may be unrestricted:

Unrestricted: An unrestricted gift is unconditional. The donor does not specify how a gift will be used, but leaves such decisions to the governing body of the organization

Restricted: A donor specifies the use of a gift for a particular purpose.

How will my planned gift be used?

First Church has established a variety of endowment funds to benefit particular ministries of the church or the church in general. The easiest way to designate the use of your gift is to specify one of these endowment funds as the beneficiary. Wayne Ford can provide a list of the endowment funds that have been established or can help you consider another appropriate use of your gift.

6 Basic Steps for Estate Planning

Step 1 – Take Nike’s Advice – Just Do It.

Take a deep breath and relax. Estate planning is your opportunity to review what you have (your assets) and decide how you can use what you have to benefit the people and “causes” you love.  Hopefully, Bartlesville First Church is one of those causes.

Step 2 – Whom and What Do You Love?

In this step, you identify those people and causes you love. Consider how you want to use what you own to benefit them. These are the goals you want to accomplish in your estate planning. You may wish to discuss your goals with your loved ones and with the institutions or causes you wish to benefit with your estate. The information you glean from such discussions may help you and your estate planning adviser ensure your wishes are met.

Step 3 – Make a List and Check It Twice.

Your estate plan will only be as complete as the information you provide to your adviser. Take stock of what you have, particularly your financial assets like checking and saving accounts, stocks, bonds and any other financial assets you own. Don’t forget about your home, your cars and any other real estate you may own. Be sure to list any special personal items you have if you wish to designate their disposition.

Step 4 – Get Professional Help.

Estate planning is technical. You may start with a financial planner or an accountant, but you will need an attorney as well since estate planning documents like wills and trusts are legal documents. Your adviser can help you in the preparation of the legal documents and can tell you what you should do about the names on real property and vehicle titles and the beneficiaries on life insurance policies and IRA’s. Your adviser will help you decide when it is appropriate to designate amounts and when it is better to designate percentages.

Step 5 – Life Happens.

Things change. Life situations are one of those. People are born and people die. Institutions and causes change as well. And, governments are constantly changing how the law affects what we do. Because these things change, your estate plan may need to change as well. So, get in the habit of thinking about your estate plan whenever something important changes in your life. And, in addition, it’s a good idea to set a specific time each year when you think about whether your estate plan needs to change. You may wish to do it at each year-end. Or, you may wish to do it whenever you file your income taxes.

Step 6 – Communicate.

Tell your beneficiaries you have included them in your estate plan.