Giving Back: A Life Built On God’s Supply
Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” This is a verse that longtime friends of Bethel College Charles “Charlie” and Waneta Habegger live by, and it’s something that has sustained them through the challenges of life.
Charlie, who has served on the Bethel College Board of Trustees for nearly three decades and was named Trustee Emeritus in 2012, is the former president of Habegger Builders Supply, Inc., in Berne, Ind. He married Waneta, his high school sweetheart, in 1950 and started his business, along with his brother Sam, in 1956. They maintained it through tough economic times, as well as a tornado and major fire loss.
“The Palm Sunday tornado of 1965 totally leveled our business. We rebuilt the buildings, discontinued manufacturing homes and continued in the retail of building materials and also construction of residential homes, commercial and industrial buildings,” Charlie says. “In December 1990, a fire destroyed our show room, offices, mill room and part of a storage area. We again rebuilt the building.” The business recovered and still thrives today, in large part, Charlie says, due to a commitment to service, quality materials and fair prices.
It was his experience with the construction industry that led to his appointment to the Bethel College Board of Trustees. Though Charlie is not an alumnus himself, he and Waneta sent two of their four children to Bethel: Audrey (Habegger) Sumrall ’79 and Brian ’79. Brian married Denise (Pannabecker) ‘81, whose grandfathers are Bethel College founders Rev. John E. Tuckey and Karl Pannabecker.
Charlie remembers, “It was at a family outing John Tuckey made this statement: Charlie, we do not have anyone on the Board of Trustees at Bethel College with construction experience. Would you pray about becoming a trustee if you are asked?” He agreed and started as a trustee in 1987.
The Habeggers have not only supported Bethel College with their time, they’ve also given financially because they see it making a Kingdom impact.
“God is at work at Bethel College and Bethel is staying true to the Scriptures,” Charlie says. “I want my giving to Bethel College to continue being used to impact the lives of students for Jesus Christ and for future students to have the opportunity to attend.”
He was humbled to be named Trustee Emeritus, saying, “I have gained much more than I have contributed,” but added that, throughout his life, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Learn more about the ways you can make an impact through giving to Bethel at BethelCollege.edu/GiveOnline.