Chuck and Jan Rehman
January 16, 2018 | 8 p.m. By Jenny Hudalla '15, content specialist
Chuck Rehman S'60 will always remember May 27, 1954, as the day he laughed at the devil. Then a senior in college, Rehman was searching for what he called "a good philosophy of life"-and that night, he found one at a Christian fellowship group. While he was walking home, he says he heard a voice tell him to stop and undo the decision he'd made to commit his life to Christ. Rehman snorted, went to seminary, and never looked back.
Four college degrees and 63 years later, Rehman is a part-time pastor, grandparent, and avid postcard collector. He's also a financial supporter of Bethel University, where he, his wife Jan '53, and most of their children received an education. After selling their cabin, the Rehmans donated some of the profits to Bethel through a charitable gift annuity, which provides them with a fixed monthly income that helps pay for things like long-term healthcare.
"The charitable gift annuity is a positive thing because you're giving toward an endowment fund, but you're getting some return on it, too," Rehman says. "It's something I wouldn't hesitate to promote."
Charitable gift annuities are especially beneficial for those nearing or in retirement because they provide stable, regular income for life. Donors receive an income tax deduction for the gift portion of their annuity, and a portion of the fixed payments they receive are also tax-free.
"Another benefit-if gifting appreciated stock-is the avoidance of paying capital gains taxes," says Dan Wiersum, associate vice president for planned giving. "And, of course, there is the satisfaction of knowing that Bethel will one day receive the benefit of their deferred gift when the contract ends."
Rehman gives because he and his family received a good education at Bethel. He gives because his son-in-law, Neal Dutton, is an associate professor of human kinetics and applied health science at Bethel. And he gives because he believes in Bethel's emphasis on spiritual life and holistic development in the lives of young people.
"You don't have to be a millionaire to give," Rehman says. "We're far from it. But life is a one-way trip to home, and an understanding of the basic gospel of Christ is the most important thing we can give to people."
It's been a long time since he heard the devil on those railroad tracks, but Rehman still laughs at the thought of abandoning his faith. It changed his life, and he wants the same kind of transformation for the students he sees at Bethel.
"My education at Bethel was marked by a quality bunch of students," Rehman says. "Like me, they were there to study and grow in their faith. The fellowship with other Christ-followers is why Bethel is-and will continue to be-a great institution."