All it took was one letter to change the course of Cloyd Havens’ life.
The envelope could have just contained junk mail, but Cloyd, 25-year member of Solid Ground BIC in Alta Loma, Calif., took the time to open it and read what was inside: an offer of a scholarship if he took the LSAT, the test needed to enter law school.
“It was absolutely a God thing,” remarks Cloyd, who has now been practicing law for 11 years. “I never would have thought of it. As I look back on the journey, I can see the different people God put into my life to encourage me. My mentor was a godly man dedicated to serving and committed to giving.”
As a will and trust lawyer, Cloyd relishes helping people in practical ways, enabling them to both avoid problems and achieve their goals. “I discuss stewardship, and how they can leave legacies that continue to give from their estates the same way they gave when they were alive,” he explains.
It was this motivation that also led him to become involved with the board of directors of the Brethren in Christ Foundation. A board member since 2002 and chair since 2004, one of his responsibilities has been to review loan applications from BIC pastors, churches, and organizations across North America. “I enjoy seeing what churches are doing or proposing to do with the money and the opportunities for outreach,” Cloyd says of his work with the Foundation.
“Most importantly, the Foundation provides a way for church members to invest in the growth of the denomination by pooling funds and making them available to churches and pastors,” he notes. “It directly grows the kingdom. Investors can have such an impact on ministries.”
Having grown up with parents who offered strong examples of stewardship, Cloyd considers furthering the kingdom the most important aspect of budgeting, and it is seeing the impact that giving can make that inspires him to continue. “If people were more connected with the work done with their gifts and if they saw the spiritual results of their gifts, they would be far more encouraged,” he observes.
“Stewardship is about more than money—and the Foundation is a place that I can use my skills and time,” Cloyd says. “Of course God can do the work without me, but what a blessing that I am able to participate.”