Elsie Randolph spent her life as a member of the Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church, and her memory will live on through renovations to the church building and financing of church programs.
Randolph, who died two years ago, left $51,107 to the church, 847 Ohio.
The Rev. Rene Brown, who became pastor six months ago, said the money already had helped pay for structural renovations to the 132-year-old building, including adjustments for accommodating people with disabilities.
The remainder will help the church step up outreach efforts to the Lawrence community, he said, and particularly for the less fortunate.
"It just comes at the right time," said Brown, who accepted the gift Sunday.
Leonard Monroe, executor of Randolph's estate, said his aunt subscribed to the "old school" when it came to church. And that meant attending every Sunday.
"She loved the church, and she wanted to do something to keep the doors open," he said. "She wanted to give something to keep it going."
Randolph, 99, served on the church's mission board. She moved to Lawrence in 1914 at age 13 and farmed northwest of town.
Monroe said another $35,000 from Randolph's estate would go toward setting up a scholarship program for minority students to attend college.