Rev. Loraine Pitman has been a long-time Pension Fund member and donor, but Pension Fund’s 13th Check fund—which provides additional assistance to ministers in need—holds a special place in her heart. That’s because her mother-in-law, Effie Pitman, was once a 13th Check recipient.
Loraine heard many stories from her family about the years following the death of her father-in-law, Rev. Benjamin Franklin “BFW” Pitman. Though Effie had little money to live on, she told her sons she would do whatever she could to keep them with her. As Effie and her family worked to keep a residence and put food on the table, their budget was tight. Any extra money the Pitman boys made was shared with the family, and Effie took on a cooking job at the local school. Effie still saved money whenever she could.
“When her husband was ill, someone came to call and put two dollar bills in her hand,” said Loraine. “She sent it straight to Pension Fund.”
After her kids were grown, Effie began receiving pension payments, Social Security benefits, Supplemental Gift assistance and a 13th Check. Effie was able to retire comfortably with her retirement income and spent many happy years at a faith-based assisted living community in Columbia, Missouri, before passing away at the age of 89.
Loraine gives to Pension Fund’s 13th Check fund in loving memory of Effie, in hopes that other retired ministry workers could benefit. “I know how much it meant for my mother-in-law,” said Loraine. “I’m sure it means as much for the others who get it, too.”
About Rev. Loraine and Rev. Frank Pitman:
Loraine and Frank, a graduate of Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) married in 1943. While Frank was working on his master’s degree and preaching in Decatur, Illinois, he was called to active duty in the Korean War. Once he returned, both he and Loraine were able to obtain master’s degrees in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy at the California Family Study Center at Azusa College (now Azusa Pacific University). Loraine was a teacher, and she became a licensed minister.
The couple was called to become co-directors of Family Education for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) headquarters, and they held seminars on grief, marriage enrichment and family life. “We really enjoyed that work, and trained leaders in 17 different denominations for over 8 years,” said Loraine.
Afterward, the couple did five interim ministries and continued to minister to others after retirement. Frank passed away in 2000 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Loraine, 92, now lives at Robin Run, a senior living community in Indianapolis.