Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society


In honor of John Chapman’s legacy and in appreciation of friends and alumni who have informed us that they have included Bryn Athyn College or our parent organization (The Academy of the New Church) or our sister organization (The General Church) in their estate plans through a will, trust, life-income gift, or other planned gift, we have established the Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society.

The Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society provides a community for everyone who has donated to Bryn Athyn College through some kind of planned gift.

As a member of the Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society receive all the benefits of planned giving, an invitation to our annual Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society Banquet, and the satisfaction of knowing your gift is helping Bryn Athyn College reach its fullest potential.

The Legacy of Johnny Appleseed

From 1806 until his death in 1844, Johnny Appleseed, as John Chapman came to be known, devoted his life to cultivation, to planting orchards in the wilderness. He planted trees for the settlers and pioneers who came after him. He planted trees for the sake of the future and he also brought, what to him were the heavenly seeds of Swedenborg’s religious writings, to distribute among the homesteaders along the frontier.

By sharing chapters of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Johnny became one of the earliest Swedenborgians in America. He gave a few pages at a time to the settlers in their cabins as he walked he Midwest frontier. Johnny reached people who might not read a whole volume, and this was a way of giving them a glimpse of what he called “Good news, right fresh from heaven.”

He did not leave the survival of his orchards up to nature, because he was a cultivator, he intervened. As members of the Church of the New Jerusalem, and followers of Emanuel Swedenborg, we are entrusted with the same mission as Johnny Appleseed – to continue to cultivate and grow and work to ensure future generations will have the benefit of our harvest. The Johnny Appleseed Legacy Society is designed to honor those who make a commitment to our future, ensuring our religious and cultural heritage is passed on and will have meaning and impact for years to come.

Enroll in this honorary society simply by advising us of the creation of a legacy gift: a bequest in a will or living trust; a charitable gift annuity; a charitable remainder trust, or designation as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy. No individual bequest amounts are ever released publicly and we would honor all requests for anonymity, if so desired. Our planned giving office can assist you in with the development of any of the above planned giving vehicles, and structure them to your needs.

The funds are deposited in a planned giving endowment fund managed and closely monitored by a trustee in compliance with our endowment investment policy, structured to preserve the principal.