LEGACY CONSULTANTS, INC.
The vision of Legacy Consultants, Inc. is to become a nationally recognized training organization that promotes seminars and conferences on stewardship for individuals and management compliance for churches and ministries.
The mission of Legacy Consultants, Inc. (LCI) is to create a generation of wealth builders that embrace the concept of legacy.
The goals of Legacy Consultants, Inc. are as follows:
- Train and educate church leaders in the area of church management.
- Train and educate church congregations in the area of wealth building.
- Develop state of the art training seminars on church management and wealth building strategies.
Legacy Consultants, Inc. was started in January of 1997 by Robert L. Howze, Jr., CPA as its founder and sole employee. The company started out with one employee and two government contracts. Later, in 1997 Legacy began working
with a church to put together financial statements for a bond issue. Upon examining the books of this one particular church, we suddenly realized that many other churches needed a range of financial services. As a result of word of mouth advertising, we landed two more church accounts in 1997.
At the end of 1998 without any form of paid advertising, we had garnered sixteen church clients and added one additional staff accountant. In 1999, Mr. Howze developed a personal relationship with Sol Hicks who later became Vice President of the Board of Legacy Consultants, Inc. Mr. Hicks is an insurance agent for Prudential Life Insurance Company of America. Mr. Hicks is one of the top agents in the world in sales of life insurance and has been celebrated as the top salesman at the million dollar round table for a number of consecutive years in his career. Mr. Hicks was responsible for introducing Mr. Howze to a number of high level Bishops and Ministers in several denominations. This invaluable contact caused the church client base to balloon to more than thirty clients by the end of 1999. The staff during this period had increased to six employees.
Operating from Mr. Howze’s personal philosophy, that Legacy’s business was a ministry first and a business second, LCI adopted the philosophy that the ministry must be done in a sound financial environment in order to maintain its integrity and that we were the firm to provide implementation.
In the year 2000 LCI began marketing exclusively to churches. We started a campaign with the phrase “Ministry Management” which includes not only accounting and bookkeeping but also comprehensive financial and management services such as establishing community development corporations, setting up deferred compensation plans for ministers, and creating economic development programs within the church community.
Mr. Howze promoted the campaign by capitalizing on the fact that the process for garnering church clients often begins with a relationship with the senior pastor. These relationships were culled as a result of being an expert at putting together deferred compensation plans for key leaders of the clergy.
In the year 2000, with more than fifty church clients and eight employees, Legacy was having cash flow problems. LCI uncovered two things that were hindering the overall growth and profitability of the business. The first thing was that Legacy’s client base consisted of mostly small to medium sized churches of 200-500 members. This particular profile of client was not profitable for the mix of services being provided.
The second thing that was hindering overall growth and profitability was the product/service mix. Legacy was selling a mix of services that were unprofitable to the firm. The initial product/service allocation proved effective in the beginning stages of the company but as payroll increased, the mix proved disastrous.
Faced with the reality of dropping the smaller church in order to become profitable, Mr. Howze showed his true commitment to the church by expanding services to include seminars that would allow the smaller churches to be able to afford the same level of quality and expertise as the larger churches for much less money.
Having knowledge of the cost and profitability of each service, Legacy then began to focus on the marketing and branding of each service through this new area of seminars and workshops. The first step in branding was to create a product out of each service we wanted to sell. The next step was to use the seminars and workshops to advertise the products.
In the fourth quarter of 2000, Legacy embarked upon its mission to provide seminars to the church community. It started out with free local seminars with no products for sale. It was more of a trial and error approach to determining what the market wanted to hear. Each seminar led to the development of a more highly informative polished package.
In January of 2001, the first major seminar was held in Cleveland, Ohio and was promoted as the “Economic Revival Of the 21st Century Church” seminar. It was a tremendous success and generated $4,000 in speaking engagement revenue. Legacy followed this up with thirteen engagements in the next four months. They were also of equal success in terms of reception and fees generated.
From 2001 to 2010, Legacy has since developed over ten books, a host of tapes and dvd’s and promoted over two hundred separate seminars. Because of the constantly changing nature of materials and the continued development of seminars, Legacy has determined that self-publishing and an in-house fulfillment center would be the most effective approach to the printing and duplication of books and tape.
In June of 2005, LCI was approached by Icon Systems, Inc. (ISI), a software developer out of Moorhead, Minnesota. ISI was a thirteen year old regionally known developer of church management software that was trying to penetrate the market on a national basis. ISI was aware of LCI because we had sold there product in the past and pitched it as being the most reasonably priced and stable alternative to the higher end software on the market. In July of 2005 ISI contracted with LCI to become their national sales and training organization.
Formed in December of 2005, ICON Systems Support & Training (ISST) became a division of LCI and the national sales and training arm of Icon Systems, Inc. (ISI). By focusing on church management through the development of church databases, ISST is endeavouring to help churches to accomplish their goals of spreading the gospel, and by doing so we are convinced we will create a captive audience and be able to fulfil our mission of creating a generation of wealth builders.
In November of 2006, Legacy discontinued it’s relationship with Icon Systems, Inc. in order to become more focused on seminars and training. Legacy has maintained its commitment to teaching and training through seminars and is poised to become the number one “church compliance” firm in the United States.