By Lydian Bernhardt
If you ask Herbert Spaugh, Jr. to tell you about his father, the Rt. Rev. Herbert Spaugh, he’ll tell you about an extraordinary man.
A minister, who founded Little Church on the Lane Moravian Church in Charlotte, served as chaplain to the Charlotte police department, wrote the thought-provoking, syndicated column “Everyday Counselor” for The Charlotte News and became a bishop of the Moravian unity.
A musician, who served as organist at four churches and organized bands at three, including the Boy Scout Band of Charlotte, N.C. This group later became the first band of Central High School in Charlotte, and the beginning of teaching instrumental music in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Schools.
A civic volunteer, who served 27 years on the school board during its period of integration, and – conscious of social issues – also founded the first Alcoholics Anonymous chapter in Charlotte.
“He was the finest man and finest Christian I ever met or knew,” Herb Spaugh says. “He was an ideal daddy, and I was so impressed with him for all the things he did.”
Ask about his own talents and accomplishments, and Spaugh smiles mischievously.
“Well, I’ve done a lot,” he says. “I’ve had an interesting life.”
He’s been an Air Force pilot, a sailboat racer, Moravian church founder and Charlotte city councilman, but it’s Herb Spaugh’s career as a financial planner that may allow him to have his greatest impact on the church. Through the wise management of his own financial planning business, Spaugh Dameron Tenny, and through the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America, Spaugh has been able to fund a scholarship in his father’s name for ministers, their families and seminary students.
The foundation allows individuals like Herb Spaugh to plan gifts, investments and stewardship to benefit Moravian ministries, and help move them forward.
Thanks to The Bishop W. Herbert Spaugh Ministerial and Children’s Educational Fund, prospective students can attend a seminary with tuition, books, housing and other costs paid for. The fund also provides money for ministers’ children to attend college and for ministers and their families to participate in continuing education opportunities.
Established in 2011, the scholarship has funded the educations of several seminary students, and is growing to be able to fund many others.
“I didn’t want our ministers’ families to have to skimp so much,” he says. “My parents put three of us through school, and I don’t see how they did it. Ministers’ families shouldn’t have to struggle.”
Spaugh attended Davidson College, then entered the Air Force and became a pilot. Later, he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and entered the insurance business. With help from his brother, a doctor, he soon found a niche in providing financial services to health care professionals, and his financial planning business was born.
Although business was good, Spaugh always insisted on doing what was right for the client over what was lucrative for the firm – “I get that from Daddy, I guess,” he says – and was soon able to follow in his father’s generous footsteps.
After moving to Lake Norman, he realized that the growing area was ripe for a church, and with a group of like-minded others, founded New Beginnings Moravian Church in nearby Huntersville, N.C. And, realizing the costs of education, he contacted the Moravian Ministries Foundation and established the Spaugh Fund.
“My drive is to help people,” he says. “I’ve been blessed beyond what I probably deserve, and I get real satisfaction out of helping other people. That’s the most important thing, to me.”
The Moravian Ministries Foundation administers the fund and works with Provincial staff to identify the recipients. Spaugh, who still works in his financial planning business, monitors and grows the fund, and enjoys hearing about the results.
Recalling the way his father touched lives, Spaugh says he’s glad to be able to do the same.
“I’m very proud to be his namesake, and I hope that when people I help through the scholarship consider the life he had, they’re inspired,” he says. “I don’t want people to forget that guy.”