Two memorial funds for Martha “Molly” Stathers have been established at the Greater Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation (GVCF) to aid local Episcopal churches. The Martha B. Stathers Fund for St. James Episcopal Church will provide support for the church’s altar guild ministry while Molly’s Fund for St. Thomas Episcopal Church will be used to enhance the landscaping in St. Thomas’ Memorial Garden.
Molly Stathers was born and raised in Charleston, where her family had lived for generations. She was the daughter of Hawthorne and Martha Battle. Molly graduated from Chatham Hall in Virginia and earned degrees from Bradford Junior College in Massachusetts and Morris Harvey College, now the University of Charleston. She met her husband, Reverend Birk S. Stathers Jr. in Charleston on a blind date, playing bridge at a Junior League event. The two were married in 1965. In 1989, the Stathers moved to Lewisburg where Molly became an active member of St. James Episcopal Church and many civic groups. She served on the board of Carnegie Hall WV, HospiceCare and the Family Refuge Center.
As endowments, the principal of both new funds will be protected. Earnings will be distributed for their charitable purposes in perpetuity. In support of the St. James Altar Guild, disbursements will be used to care for the altar and its furnishings, the acolytes’ cottas, and the lay assistants’ robes as well as to perform any other necessary duties in accordance with the pastors’ wishes. Birk remembered that Molly was a particularly talented altar guild member stating, “She knew how to do it all and she knew how to do it right.” In regard to the Memorial Garden at St. Thomas, Birk remarked, “It is a charming garden and will be more beautiful as time goes on.”
The two funds will be administered by the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation (GVCF). GVCF was established in 1999 to ensure that the region remains an enriching environment where individuals and organizations have the resources needed to continue their vital work. It currently has over $7 million in assets. Over the past 15 years, the foundation has distributed over $2.1 million to the community. For more information about GVCF, or to learn how to establish a fund to benefit a cause you are passionate about, contact Courtney Smith, executive director, at 304-645-5620 or email@example.com.