A Legacy of a Kingdom-Building Life

God used three major events to provide Howard Longfellow a kingdom-building life: a shorter train ride, a chance encounter and a love for his adopted hometown.

Longfellow grew up in Baltimore, where he attended Lovely Lane United Methodist Church. Toward the end of his senior year in high school, his father encouraged him to apply to an engineering school in the Midwest. At 16, Longfellow researched train schedules to cities in the Midwest and decided to attend The Ohio State University because the ride to Columbus was the shortest on the schedule. He applied and was accepted.

After graduating from OSU, Longfellow’s first engineering job was with the Western Electric Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. On the Sunday before his first day on the job, Longfellow decided to take a train ride to explore the city. The ride led him to Centenary United Methodist Church in time for worship. That day he met his wife of 67 years, Jane. The couple married, started a family and rooted themselves in Winston-Salem.

Later, Longfellow was offered a position with Bell Labs in Columbus, Ohio. He loved Columbus and accepted this opportunity to return to his adopted hometown. The family met the Rev. Charles Kirsch, the pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, and began attending the church. Later, they decided to make Worthington UMC their church home.

As a member of Worthington UMC for nearly 60 years, Howard and Jane have lived a kingdom-building life by serving in leadership roles on various committees. The couple is also responsible for the renovation of the church lounge, where they spent a lot of time.

The Longfellows’ commitment led them to a planned gift that benefits Worthington UMC. Howard and Jane invested in Charitable Gift Annuities through the former West Ohio Conference Council on Development, now the United Methodist Foundation of West Ohio. The decision provided significant additional income for the couple; allowing them to “have a life, versus just living paycheck to paycheck,” Howard said. This decision will also honor their life of service through a gift to Worthington UMC.

To learn more about Charitable Gift Annuities, contact the United Methodist Foundation of West Ohio at sblack [at] wocumc.org or momalley [at] wocumc.org or by calling 380-223-9339