The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      Rob Blackaby is president of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. In a Seminary News article published several years ago, Blackaby define one’s legacy as “the imprint that God has caused your life to leave on individuals, groups, and institutions” and “the lasting impression your life and story have had on generations who will follow after you, with the marked desire to serve Christ and seek His Kingdom and His righteousness.”     
      Perhaps the most useful tool for establishing a legacy and extending your Christian influence is a Last Will and Testament. In simple terms, a Will is a legal document that “speaks” for you after the Lord has called you into “higher service” with Him. Jesus encouraged his followers to leave Kingdom-focused legacy through laying up treasures in heaven.

      Corine Adams Baines captured the essence of Jesus’ teaching through her life and in death. Corine had a concern for people that she shared with her husband Thomas who ministered as a medical doctor. Beyond the means and measure with which Thomas and Corine were able to demonstrate an outward focus on others during their lifetimes, further evidence of the Baines’ interest in people and the needs of other came courtesy of Corine’s Last Will and Testament.             

      Through her Will, Corine Baines demonstrated that “where your treasure is, there will be your heart also” (Matthew 6:21). In addition to several specific charitable bequests to medical-related entities, Corine not only provided financial blessings from her estate to the senior adult ministries of several churches in Mississippi and Texas, but also to a residential home for senior adults in Mississippi.                  
      Mrs. Baine’s love for people extended beyond the local arena, however, as she sought to favor missions through the Mississippi Baptist Foundation. As provided in her Will, the Foundation received the Baines’ principal residence along with all of the furnishings and other contents of this home. The proceeds from the sale of this gift were added to the “Thomas A. and Corine A. Baines Memorial Missions Fund” administered by the Foundation. Truly, Corine Baines left a spiritual and financial legacy!           
      Unfortunately, many people come to the end of their earthly sojourn without a valid Last Will and Testament. Some estimates suggest that up to 70% of Americans who die each year do not have a valid and updated Will. When a person dies without a valid Last Will and Testament, emotional distress and unnecessary expense are among the host of painful consequences experienced by loved ones. In addition, personal possessions may be subject to distribution according to impersonal laws and statutes. On the other hand, the establishment of a Last Will and Testament has several advantages including:
  • Having control of your lifetime accumulation of personal property by passing these assets to family, friends, charity, and ministry;
  • The opportunity to carry out your stewardship responsibilities to care for your surviving spouse, parents, young children, disadvantaged children, adult children and/or grandchildren;
  • The ability to minimize taxes and other final expenses;
  • The privilege of making specific bequests of tangible property and to provide for the disposition of the remaining assets after all expenses have been paid and other bequests have been presented;
  • The unique opportunity and privilege to provide a tangible witness of your faith in Christ and to share hope with others through gifts that support your church and favorite ministries perpetually.


As Dr. Blackaby reminds us, the power of a legacy begins with “a heart filled with faith and obedience” and culminates in “a life that arises out of death to ourselves and not from any deed that we have done.” Your Last Will and Testament can speak volumes about your life and legacy. Remember, where there’s a Will…to offer a testimony, to provide for family, and to leave a legacy…there’s a way!


Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for being the Way, the Truth, and the Life! May the life that I live and the legacy that I leave point others to your son Jesus who gave his life that I might spend eternity with you. Amen.



*Content for this article first appeared in the Spring 2009 edition of “Foundation News” published on behalf of the Mississippi Baptist Foundation in the Baptist Record and should not be considered as legal or financial advice.