Cody and Dara Evans’ home represents that of many couples with young children. A red fire engine sits on a shelf among books and colorful blocks. A wooden rocking horse is in the corner.
Their 2-year-old, Brason, owner of the toys and his parents’ hearts, enters the room, smiles broadly and hands his mom a soft toy and recites its name, “Buzz.”
Cody and Dara, who married four years ago, met as members of the Oklahoma Baptist All-State Youth Choir, where they shared a microphone in the ensemble.
“I thought she was a snob,” Cody laughed, “and she thought I was a nerd.”
After high school they both went to the same college-Cody a music major and Dara as a business major. Dara changed her study to music education and eventually the two, who until then only said “hi” as they passed each other in the hall, became best friends.
“We started dating fall break of 2002 and by Thanksgiving break, we were engaged,” Cody said. “We built our relationship on our friendship.”
Today, Cody is the minister of music and education at Moore, Regency Park, where he leads the choir, plans discipleship studies and helps with the senior adult ministry. Dara recruits and trains volunteers for Crossroads Hospice. She also heads the organization’s Gift of a Day program, where patients’ last wishes are fulfilled.
“It might be something as simple as a fishing trip or maybe an honorary diploma for someone who will not live long enough to go through graduation,” she explained.
Cody and Dara agree that their focus in life shifted when their son was born.
“Our lives now revolve around Brason’s schedule and his needs,” Dara said. “Having a family does make you begin to think about the future. So when Brason was born, we wanted to know that if something were to happen to us, he was taken care of.”
This shift led the couple to contact the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma to help them with their will. Their specific desire was to name Dara’s sister and brother-in-law as guardians for Brason.
“Obviously church is a very important part of our lives. We sing Bible songs in our home and read Bible stories; it’s important that if we weren’t here that the godly influence stays the same for Brason,” said Dara.
The Evans’ research with the Foundation showed them that a will is only part of an estate plan. In addition, they named a durable power of attorney for financial and health care decisions, completed a directive to physicians and designated that a charitable gift of 10 percent of their estate, upon the death of the surviving spouse, be given to Baptist ministries they choose.
Once the documents were signed and the Evanses paid their attorney, the Foundation reimbursed a portion of the couple’s legal fees. This is the arrangement made available by the Foundation if clients leave at least a 10 percent charitable gift to Baptist ministries.
The Evanses chose to leave their gift to various worship ministries, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Hope Pregnancy Centers and Falls Creek.
“We financially could not have made a will without this type of arrangement,” Cody said. “It’s just a big relief to know that it’s done.”
The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, established in 1946, assists in gift and estate planning, church financing and investing and the management of gifts that fund Southern Baptist causes in Oklahoma, throughout the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.bfok.org, or call 800/949-9988.