$1.2 Million Gift from the Estate of David and Jane Wood

Bethany Theological Seminary has received a gift of $1.2 million from the estate of the late David Thomas Wood and Jane Merchant Wood of Boones Mill, Virginia. Their gift is one of the largest estate gifts in the 116-year history of the Seminary.

Their gift will help support the vital functions of the Seminary including faculty support and student scholarships.

“All of us at Bethany are humbled by David and Jane Wood’s generosity to the Seminary,” says President Jeff Carter. “This gift will help us continue to make an exceptional biblical and theological education accessible and affordable for all qualified students. I believe this gift leaves a legacy that will honor the memory of the Woods and their decades of service to the church. We are so grateful for their support of the Seminary as well as their dedicated service to the denomination and their local church.”

The Woods were farmers and orchardists, raising beef cattle and producing apples. They were longtime members of the Bethlehem Church of the Brethren and both served the larger denomination as well as their local congregation. David Wood’s service included teaching Sunday School and serving as a member of the Virlina District reconciliation committee. He was the first lay person to serve as moderator of the Church of the Brethren. Jane Wood chaired the church board of the Bethlehem church, worked with children in the congregation, volunteered at the District Conference office and served as a member of the denomination’s General Board.

“Church was always a central part of their lives,” says Janice Yetmar, niece of David and Jane Wood. “This gift is simply a reflection of how they lived their lives.”

Lynn Myers, former chairman of the Bethany Board of Trustees knew David and Jane Wood well. He notes, “David and Jane were hard workers who lived faithful and simple lives. They were well respected leaders of their local and the greater church. Both supported Bethany in many ways in addition to sharing their resources. David was congenial and knowledgeable in diverse areas and was well known for his story telling and vibrant conversations.”

The entire Bethany community is grateful for this generous gift. For information about making a financial contribution to the Seminary, please visit the donation page.