When I was 16 years old, I was invited to speak at a little country church in rural Denver, Ky., not far from Paintsville.
The church had all but closed its doors but one man, Harold Rice, and his family wanted to see the church stay open and do well.
A church with few to almost no people typically does not attract too many interested ministers. I had spoken in my home church a few times and was a guest speaker in a few others. Mr. Rice asked if I would consider speaking at the church on the second and fourth Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. I agreed, and brought a message to maybe seven or eight people my first Sunday. The crowd consisted of Harold and his wife June Rice and their family. The church was an old building with a pump organ and a sign behind the pulpit that said, “Preach the Word.”
I stayed with the little congregation called Liberty Baptist Church throughout high school. By the time I was 17 Mr. Rice was talking to me about being the official pastor and about ordination. In time I would become the pastor and would be ordained. I was too young, too inexperienced and unskilled for such a responsibility but youth is adventurous and will try what those of us who know better would never consider.
The church grew and we started having 20 to 30 people and often more. People literally received Christ, joined the church and were baptized. This was all amazing.
Even more amazing was Mr. Rice offered me a grand salary of $60 a month to help buy my gasoline. The trip one way from home was over 30 miles so this was appreciated. He also presented me with paperwork for a perk. The church was going to put 10 percent or $6 of my salary into the church denominational retirement plan, then known as the Annuity Board. It’s called Guidestone today. He had me to complete a form solidifying my agreement to this monthly contribution. I was about 17 at this stage and had zero interest or thoughts about retirement. Six dollars a month kind of seemed like a joke.
I was with Liberty church a couple of years or more and about 10 to 12 of those months Mr. Rice made that $6 contribution to my retirement faithfully. Although, I never thought another day about it from the moment I signed those papers.
Seven or eight years ago I did wonder if that account even existed. I called up The Guidestone retirement people and with my Social Security number they told me in a few seconds that the account did indeed exist and my balance was $31,000. Shocked would not describe how I felt. I almost had to pick myself off the floor. If Mr. Rice had made as many as 12 contributions the total invested would have been $72. Now, years later I was looking at over $31,000. Since that day of first inquiring that little $6 account now has over $46,000 and still growing.
The point of all this is save some money when you can. Start as young as possible but even if you are old put something away every month. If you can save hundreds every month that is wonderful, please do. However, don’t ever underestimate the growth potential of saving a little bit of money every month, even if it’s just $6. And yes, every time I look at that account, I remember Mr. Rice and the good people of Liberty Baptist Church who not only encouraged me then but are still encouraging me today with just $6.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books including Uncommon Sense. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.