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The First Foundation, Inc.
First Baptist Church Dalton

First Baptist Church Dalton founded the First Foundation, Inc. on July 29, 1996 to ungird the Church's objectives and ministries, both presently and in the future.


The primary purpose of the First Foundation, Inc. is to enable both members and community contributors to be faithful witnesses by sustaining Christ's work through the missions and ministries of First Baptist Church Dalton. As such, the First Foundation's objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting the missions and benevolent ministries of First Baptist Church Dalton.

  • Assisting in the education of individuals preparing for full-time Christian vocational ministries.

  • Providing support for the Church's capital and facility needs.

  • Supporting other ministries as approved by the First Foundation's trustees, provided the ministries are aligned with the Church's Core Values.

When individuals donate to the First Foundation or include gifts in their wills or estates, these contributions can be endowed, allowing the Church to sustain and perpetuate the gift through the endowment. Donors also have the option to make non-endowed gifts to the First Foundation if they prefer. Both endowed and non-endowed gifts will be used to continue the tradition and legacy of the Christian message locally, nationally, and internationally.


The idea for establishing a Trust for First Baptist Church Dalton began to take shape when the Trust Committee held its first meeting in February 1996. This dedicated group set out to create the necessary bylaws, develop the Articles of Incorporation, and obtain a 501-C-3 status.

By June, the Bylaws of the First Foundation, Inc. were presented to the deacons and the congregation of First Baptist Church Dalton. After an extensive discussion, all parties unanimously agreed that the primary aim of First Foundation was to support the Church's initiatives. The outlined purposes included those mentioned in the “About Us” section.

In its initial year, 1996, the First Foundation experienced a deficit, but its fortunes swiftly turned around in 1997. Generous donations poured in, with two particularly significant ones: $100,000 from the Treadwell Estate and $110,000 from the Dixie Davis Estate. These donations were transformative, propelling the First Foundation from its modest beginnings to fulfilling its mission of furthering God's Kingdom.

The impact of the First Foundation continued to grow over the years. In its early stages, the Foundation received a remarkable contribution exceeding $800,000 from the charitable remainder trust of Evelyn Nesmith, significantly enhancing the Trust's capacity to make a meaningful difference. Subsequent years witnessed considerable growth from ongoing donations of various dollar amounts. The Foundation has benefited from consistent small donations to unexpected noteworthy gifts such as the anonymous contribution of $1,000,000 made in memory of Lamar Hennon in 2018.

Since the creation of the First Foundation, many members of First Baptist Church Dalton have served on the Board of Trustees, diligently working to expand the First Foundation and, consequently, increase the funds distributed through grants.

Currently, the First Foundation's assets have reached a fair market value of just under $4,000,000. Since its inception, the total endowed contributions to the First Foundation have exceeded $3,200,000. From those contributions, the Foundation has issued grants totaling just over $1,200,000, with a significant majority of these grants dedicated to supporting mission endeavors.

The First Foundation is dedicated to bettering countless lives, both locally and globally. Grants from the First Foundation help support the Church's outreach to needy communities and fund the Church's mission teams and partnerships. As the Church journeys ahead, the Kingdom of God grows.

Because of the Foundation’s backing, the Church has sent many enthusiastic individuals on numerous mission trips. These opportunities influence the perspectives of the volunteers, instilling in them a deep sense of humility, empathy, and purpose. They return with hearts full of gratitude and a newfound commitment to spreading love and kindness.

One of the Foundation's most challenging mission trips sent several FBCD volunteers to Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, the region struggled to recover, and the Church's mission team, supported by the First Foundation, set out to make a lasting difference. Through their efforts, they provided aid, rebuilt homes, and restored hope to the hearts of those facing adversity. The ripple effect of compassion cannot be measured, but the recipients of this kindness were forever touched by the love and support they received.

Today, the First Foundation continues to be a driving force behind First Baptist Church Dalton's compassionate mission. By empowering the Church's initiatives, the Foundation serves as the catalyst to the betterment of countless lives. The Foundation's story is one of unity, hope, and the incredible power of collective giving.

As the story of First Foundation and First Baptist Church Dalton unfolds, we invite you to join us on this remarkable journey. Your contribution, whether large or small, holds the potential to ignite a spark of hope and create lasting change. Together, we can be a force of compassion, bringing light to the darkest corners of the world.

Why give to the First Foundation?

Enduring Witness

A contribution carries lasting impact. As your invested gifts gradually increase, the First Foundation will thoughtfully distribute the returns on those investments. Through endowed gifts, the support you provide today will continue to strengthen the Church's ministries and advance the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ until His return. Moreover, even non-endowed gifts will serve the same noble purposes, creating equally profound effects on the Church's mission to spread the message of Christ.


Contributing to and through the First Foundation offers a unique opportunity to set aside a portion of the abundant blessings God has bestowed upon us, dedicating these blessings to serve Him for generations to come.


By giving to the First Foundation from the financial resources entrusted to us, we align our actions with our words. Living out our faith in this way becomes a powerful witness and a compelling example for our children, fellow believers, and those who have yet to experience a personal relationship with Jesus.


The First Foundation efficiently maintains all essential records, streamlining the giving process. Choosing to contribute to the First Foundation requires significantly less time and resources than establishing a private foundation or managing numerous individual gifts independently.


By joining your gifts with the contributions of other generous donors, you enable your gifts to be invested, grow, and ultimately have a far greater impact than individual donations. The resulting earnings can be distributed to support a multitude of mission-related activities, far beyond what your gifts could achieve in isolation. Together, we can make a significant and lasting difference in advancing our shared mission.


The Trustees of the First Foundation are deeply committed to responsible stewardship, ensuring prudent management of all gifts and upholding a strong financial policy. Several years after its establishment, the First Foundation made a significant decision to endow all past and future gifts. This step was taken to safeguard the principal funds and enable the perpetual delivery of grants aligned with the Foundation's original mission.


In early 2023, the Board of Trustees expanded its approach, allowing donors to make gifts without the requirement of endowment. This decision grants flexibility to givers who prefer to see their contributions utilized for immediate impact while still furthering the Kingdom's work.

Tax Benefits & Estate Planning

The First Foundation offers a valuable opportunity for planned giving, allowing you to maximize the benefits of applicable tax laws. By strategically planning your contributions, you can optimize your impact while also taking advantage of potential tax incentives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can make a donation to the First Foundation?

Anyone can make donations to the First Foundation; however, the First Foundation is established especially for Church members to support the missions and ministries of First Baptist Church Dalton.

What are the benefits of making a donation to the First Foundation?

The benefits of donating to the First Foundation extend far beyond the present. When you choose to make endowed gifts, you guarantee that the earnings from your gifts will be utilized in the Foundation's endeavors, resulting in a perpetual legacy that will bear fruit for generations to come. Alternatively, non-endowed gifts offer immediate, sustaining assistance to the ministries supported by the First Foundation.


Regardless of whether your gifts are endowed or not, they play crucial roles in ensuring the continued excellence in ministry at First Baptist Church Dalton. Moreover, making current and deferred gifts also provides specific tax advantages, offering you additional benefits while contributing to the greater mission of the Foundation.

Should a donation to the First Foundation be in addition to my current budget offering?

Yes, your donation to the First Foundation should be in addition to your regular tithes and

May I designate how the income from my gift is to be used?

Yes, you may designate how your gift is to be used in line with the specific funds that have been established within the First Foundation. Four fund areas are now offered: Missions and Benevolence, Capital and Facility Needs, Education, and Undesignated (non-specified contributions).

How are the investment decisions of the First Foundation made?

The First Foundation operates under the guidance of a Board of Trustees, elected annually by the Church. These dedicated Trustees hold the responsibility for all decisions concerning First Foundation funds, investments, and allocations. In managing the Foundation's financial resources, the Trustees prioritize the safety and preservation of the invested funds as their primary concern. They then seek to maximize investment returns while minimizing overall relative risk.


Over the years, the First Foundation has maintained an Investment Committee of experienced individuals well-versed in this realm. This committee plays a crucial role in providing investment recommendations to the full Board of Trustees, ensuring a thoughtful and informed approach to managing the Foundation's assets.

When is the earned income of the Foundation allocated?


The First Foundation’s Trustees preserve and strive to grow the principal value held by the First Foundation. The Trustees make annual distributions (grants) from a portion of the earnings of the endowment funds.

What is the procedure for making a gift to the First Foundation?

Contact the Associate Pastor at the Church office for a preliminary discussion regarding your gifts and how you would choose for them to be used. Gifts should made directly to the First Foundation, Inc. and can be mailed to PO BOX 827, Dalton, GA 30720. A list of tax and estate planning professionals is available if you do not already have someone working with you in those areas.

Types of Gifts

Here are three kinds of gifts you can make to the First Foundation.

Please make all gifts out to First Foundation Inc. 

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Gifts that are made during your lifetime.

Contributing to the First Foundation is simple, and cash gifts are the most straightforward option. You have the flexibility to pledge gifts of cash over a specified period, accommodating your preferences and financial situation. In addition, you can make gifts in honor of loved ones or to commemorate special occasions (memorials and honorariums). These donations provide a meaningful way to celebrate significant events.

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Gifts that may provide you with income for life.

Among the options available are gift annuities, charitable remainder annuity trusts, and charitable remainder unitrusts. Your thoughtful contribution in any of these forms enables the Foundation to continue its vital mission and make a lasting impact.

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Gifts that are deferred until your death.

The First Foundation gratefully receives special gifts, which are made possible through thoughtful planning. By including the First Foundation in your will or designating it as the beneficiary of a financial asset, such as an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) retirement plan, or life insurance policy, you are leaving a lasting legacy.

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