Retirement of Bath Church minister provides legacy opportunity
After 25 years of service to his parishioners and the Bath community at large, the Rev. Mark Frey, senior minister at The Bath United Church of Christ, officially retired on Sunday, Oct. 2. Frey and his wife, Margee, were feted by friends and churchgoers at a special reception following his final sermon.
However, that wasn't the only celebration in store for the Freys. The prior morning, the couple was surprised at the church's monthly Men's Breakfast, where church members announced their intention to create a charitable fund in the Freys' name in honor of their lifetime of service.
They presented the Freys with a ceremonial check representing the collective donations that will be used to start the fund at Akron Community Foundation, a permanent endowment of more than 540 charitable funds.
The new Mark and Margee Frey Fund will support one of the community foundation's initiative funds – Bath Community Fund – in perpetuity. Bath Community Fund was established in June 2014 to improve the quality of life of Bath residents through charitable grantmaking. The fund's first grants will be announced in November.
"As we were confirming details of the Men's Breakfast program, the word 'legacy' was used frequently," said church member Tom Clark. "The thought of establishing a legacy in honor of this couple who have done so much to serve both The Bath Church congregation and the Bath community took flight. What began as an idea to take a special offering that morning to donate to Bath Community Fund soon developed into a 'stealth campaign' to raise money to open a fund in honor of the Freys."
The Freys were surprised and touched by the gift, having been kept in the dark about the quiet fundraising effort. After the fund was announced at church that Sunday, donations continued to come in, and the fund was officially established with a total of $6,150.
"We are honored to have this fund named for us and are humbled by the tremendous generosity of those at Bath Church who contributed," Rev. Frey said. "Margee and I have carried the call of loving your neighbor as yourself as a command in our lives, and this fund provides the opportunity for our interest and passion to continue beyond our time here."
The Mark and Margee Frey Fund will support Bath Community Fund's grantmaking to programs that help Bath residents in times of need. To give to the fund in honor of the Freys, visit www.akroncf.org/give/FreyFund.