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Whitefish church receives million dollar donation

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Oct 20 2013 05:30:25 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

What would you do with a million dollars?

It's a hypothetical question that many people ask but very few every get to happen.

But for a Flathead County church, it's now become reality.

Roger Wold was a simple man living a simple life in Whitefish.

When he passed away last year, he left a gift to the Christ Lutheran Church in his will; a gift of one million dollars.

"As he got to the end of his life, I had the opportunity of ministering to him as any pastor would,” said John Bent, the senior pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Whitefish.  Pastor John says Wold's mother was once a devoted Sunday school teacher at Christ Lutheran Church.

"But there was no mention of any estate or anything like that," Pastor John said.

Pastor John announced the gift to the congregation on Sunday October 13 during their service.  He says everyone in the congregation was shocked and surprised to hear that they had received a one million dollar gift.

"Immediately when this gift was announced there was this collective gasp,” said Pastor John.  “One person said like all the air left the room."

Pastor John says the congregation will pray for 40 days before any decision is made.

He hopes that by praying, the congregation will come up with the right ideas or plans for the large donation.

"There's a whole world out there in need, it's not just here.  So we don't know the shape of the use of this gift will take but our prayers that it will bless generations to come, not only here in the valley but across the world," Pastor John said.

We asked Pastor John if he had any specific ideas that were possibly being discussed about what the money would be used for, but he tells us that they will not entertain any ideas from anyone until their 40 days of prayer are complete in November.