On July 12, 2023, Rusty Gunn, lead pastor of Sand Springs, Church That Matters and director of Send Network Oklahoma, along with his family, presented a check for $43,193.42 to Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU).

This generous contribution came from the estate of Rusty’s father, Tommy Gunn, who unexpectedly passed away in October 2022 at the age of 64. The check represented the fruition of Tommy’s estate plan, a thoughtful arrangement he made with WatersEdge Advisors shortly before his passing.

For Rusty, the estate plan that his father had in place was one of the wisest and most loving things Tommy had ever done for him and his sister Brande Richardson.

As a pastor, Rusty has witnessed numerous families struggling with the aftermath of a loved one’s passing without a clear plan for their assets, leading to confusion and conflict during the distribution process. Rusty and Brande expressed immense gratitude for their father’s foresight and care in preparing the estate plan.

The Gunn family also commends WatersEdge for offering an easy process and even an incentive for individuals to plan ahead, as Tommy did. WatersEdge reimburses up to $500 for legal fees incurred while completing an estate plan, provided the benefactor includes a tithe (10 percent) gift from their estate to a partnering ministry of their choice. Tommy embraced this opportunity and chose to allocate 10 percent of his estate to Oklahoma Baptist University upon his passing.

Tommy graduated from OBU in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and played baseball for the Bison until a motorcycle accident cut his athletic career short in 1985. He served in several Oklahoma Baptist churches, and his ministry eventually extended to Texas and New Mexico. His love for OBU remained strong, and he kept up with university news through alumni communications and social media.

Tommy made Rusty and Brande aware of his estate plan and his wishes after completing the process with WatersEdge. The comprehensive and organized format of the estate plan has been a blessing for his children during an undoubtedly challenging time.

Church That Matters, the church Rusty planted and pastors, hosted an estate planning workshop in July 2022, partnering with WatersEdge to encourage families and individuals in their church and community to consider crafting clear estate plans. Rusty and his wife, Megan, an insurance agent, are strong advocates for this process, having witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of families torn apart due to the absence of a well-thought-out plan.

For Rusty and his sister Brande, the gift to OBU was a meaningful way to honor their dad and carry out his wishes of contributing to the university that contributed so much to his development as a man and a minister of the Gospel.

“We praise the Lord for the promise of eternity and the assurance that we will see our dad again,” Rusty said. “Until that sweet day, knowing that he contributed to the ongoing work of OBU is a heartwarming reminder of his life and legacy, offering us comfort as we continue on.”

For more information on estate planning, visit watersedgeservices.org/estate-planning.