For over 35 years the O'Ferrall Legacy has helped to fund ministry here at St. Paul's. The bequest left to St. Paul's by Mrs. Gladys O'Ferrall has continued to overflow in blessings for our mission to the New Orleans community. Because of that ongoing blessing, the Vestry has been able to add an additional $234,000 to the O'Ferrall Fund this year.
As part of the O'Ferrall Legacy, St. Paul's inherited a company called the Phillips Land Company. For all of these years Phillips has sat dormant. The company was inactive when Mrs. O'Ferrall gifted it, and it has remained so, with one exception. The company owned land in the Bohemia Spillway, and Shell has for many years paid for the rights to an easement of one of their pipelines through the land. The money from that payment went into the Phillips Land Company's account for years, but the church could not access the money because Mrs. O'Ferrall never had clear title of ownership.
After a lengthy legal process spearheaded by our chancellor, Jason Akers, and executed by our parishioner Jason Burge with the Fishman Haygood law firm, St. Paul's was finally granted clear title to the company and its assets at the end of last year. Phillips Land Company was dissolved, and its monetary assets ($149,000) were transferred into the O'Ferrall Fund.
The land owned by Phillips in the Bohemia Spillway was also transferred to St. Paul's. Another individual owned a 35% interest in the tracts, and made an offer to buy St. Paul's 65% interest. After much deliberation the Vestry decided to sell the property adding another $85,000 to the O'Ferrall Fund, bringing the grand total to $234,000 added in 2017.
This is exciting news, particularly following a year when the fund saw growth, and saw us withdraw the smallest percentage ever in the fund's history to support our operating fund. The contributions of our congregation are going much further in allowing us to make appropriate levels of withdrawal. It's there for us to do ministry, and it is now able to do more work for us than ever before.
It's amazing how the gifts we share continue to bear fruit. We continue to give thanks to God for the generosity of Mrs. O'Ferrall, and the generosity of you and everyone at St. Paul's.