P.O.B. I got a note and it was signed this way. P.O.B. stands for poor old Bill. That was the way William (Bill) Robert Richards identified himself. Bill was a remarkable human being and I celebrate that I got to know him and spend time with him.
Bill was a faithful founding member of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church. I was privileged to be his pastor. I also considered him to be my friend.
Bill sat in the front of the church every Sunday. He was so faithful in worship that he was missed when he was not there. I think this is something that is valuable for those of us who profess to be redeemed children of God.
Bill was a go to guy. He was generous and was willing to help provide needed resources for the congregation. It would be fair to say that Bill was thrifty in his personal life, but he was generous in supporting the ministries of this church.
When I had to buy a home or leave Louisburg, Bill provided me with a personal loan, so I could stay in Louisburg. Bill was a great support to me and my family. My son fondly remembers time he spent solving the world's problems and swapping stories around the picnic table at the Louisburg Fire Station. This was a daily pleasure that I sorely miss.
POB was also very wise. I measure wisdom according to a Biblical standard. King Solomon says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Bill not only professed his faith, but he also let his actions speak louder than his words.
Bill invested in Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF). He did this originally to help the congregation secure a low interest loan for the new building. The more investors the church has the better our interest rate. Not only did Bill invest in LCEF but half of the interest from that investment was paid monthly to pay against the principle of the church loan.
When Bill set up this investment he arranged that at his death the remaining principle would be applied to pay down the church's existing loan. I spoke with Bill about this. We figured that when Bill hit one hundred the existing loan would be paid off and we could use this for an endowment. Bill did not make it to one-hundred. The original 100,000-dollar investment matured in LCEF and was transferred to a Lutheran Church Foundation Life annuity. The church received a monthly amount and Bill received a monthly amount from this investment to reduce the congregation's indebtedness. The remainder of this investment, $74.000+, will be applied to the congregation debt. This is an amazing bequest. This testifies to Bill's commitment to this congregation.
I will miss Poor Old Bill. He was a treasure. I pray that his legacy of generosity will be remembered. I would encourage all of you to do some estate planning. The church council will honor Bills desire to pay down the church's indebtedness with this bequest. I hope to see all of you in church faithfully.