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Stewardship 2019- What’s Your Story? Gary McConnell

Cassie Williams
September 24 2018

“As I reflect on my life, I have no doubt that First Central has made me a better person and given me something to believe in.” – Gary McConnell


“My name is Gary McConnell. I am a 55 year member of this church. We claim that First Central changes lives for the better. This is my story of what happened to me.

I grew up on a small farm in Iowa, went to school in Sioux City, married Kathy, got a job in Omaha, had a family. Life was good, but we needed a church for the kids.

Our first church visit was to First Central and it made quite an impression. A lot of people, padded cushions, great choir, and air conditioning. I thought “this is great! I can be anonymous and not be noticed.” I wouldn’t have to get involved.

However, God moves in mysterious ways and gradually we became more active. A major change didn’t take place until we helped with the Building Fund Drive to finance the renovations to our church building. At that time we were asked to reflect on what First Central meant to us and consider striving for a Modern Tithe (5% of your income) to the church.

We always had a budget for our family so we decided to adopt that as a goal. Each year we increased our pledge to move the % closer to the Modern Tithe. After some time we met that goal. Setting a priority, having budget and having faith made that possible.

Since that time we have increased our giving to a point we are now at a level that is an actual Tithe to the church (10%). After my retirement, we also increased our time spent on working for the church.

This support for First Central will continue far into the future because of our commitment to the Columbarium and the inclusion of First Central in our Estate Plan.

There are three things that First Central has preached that are core beliefs of my faith journey and that I try to keep with me every day: 1) we should strive for hearts that open, minds that understand, and lives that serve 2) we should do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God 3) we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

I show __________thanks to God for the many blessings he has given me through giving of time, talent, and treasure for the benefit of First Central and our neighbors.

As I reflect on my life, I have no doubt that First Central has made me a better person and given me something to believe in. I ask you to be open to making First Central part of your faith journey and to make a financial commitment to First Central so that First Central can continue its ministry.”




We’re all drawn to First Central for so many reasons…so many stories behind those reasons. What’s YOUR First Central story? Stewardship Campaign 2019 chose stories as its focus. It’s what drives us to commit to this community of faith. It’s what inspires us to give financially so these stories can continue.

Each week we will be sharing a multitude of First Central Stories.

From now until Stewardship Sunday, October 7th, you will have a variety of ways to make a financial commitment to First Central.

You Can:

  • Submit your Pledge on Stewardship Sunday, October 7th
  • Go online at firstcentral.org   OR
  • Respond to weekly stewardship emails
    • You can make a One Time Gift or Submit Your Pledge Online