The Reverend Gabriel Abdullah was a devoted son, a proud citizen of Jacksonville, and a humble steward of his family’s grocery business success. But mostly, he was a man of faith who led the Mount Olive Presbyterian Church with a passion to preach the Gospel on a wider scale. To support his religious mission, Rev. Abdullah established a private foundation, and when he died at age 99, the foundation was converted to an endowed fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
The Abdullah Family Endowment has allowed the Reverend’s work to continue.
“Uncle Gabe was very specific,” remembers nephew Ken Soud. “He said, ‘without faith, our country is going to come to a screeching halt. I want these funds used for organizations to train people to proclaim the Gospel’.”
Since the Abdullah Family Endowment’s creation in 2014, it has made numerous mission-based grants, including ten scholarships for students to attend Gordon-Conwell Seminary, with campuses in Boston, Charlotte and Jacksonville. The scholarship recipients are grateful for the opportunity to increase their knowledge and polish their skills.
“I love studying, teaching and preaching God’s Word. One thing I am missing in my studies is a knowledge of the biblical languages, and I know that a Master of Divinity program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary will greatly help to develop that,” wrote one grateful recipient.
Soud and his family advisory group note three benefits from converting the family foundation to a fund at TCF: “One, we relieved the family advisory group of investment responsibility; two, there is no tax accounting responsibility for the family and three, it limits the family’s liability because the Foundation makes sure we follow the rules.”
“Every time a grant check goes out our door, we are fulfilling Rev. Abdullah’s dream,” confirms John Zell, VP of Development at The Community Foundation. “His purpose for these assets is as clear as the day he created his foundation, and his advisors and The Community Foundation are aligned to make sure his intentions are honored forever.”