For well over a century, Methodists in Alabama have delighted in our partnership with Birmingham-Southern College. This nationally prominent, academically excellent liberal arts college has been at the forefront of the mission of our church. Generations of North Alabama Methodists have grown in their faith, experienced their first hands on mission work, and deepened their commitment to Christ at our little college on the hill. The college has given millions in scholarship aid to UMC students, giving BSC the highest percentage of UMC students of any of our colleges in the country. Currently, over a hundred of our most effective pastors are alumni of BSC.
In the current financial crisis at BSC our church is once again having the opportunity to demonstrate our faith in and love for the college.
Here’s some of the ways we are helping BSC:
- Scott Selman has delivered a check for $250,000 to BSC, advance payment on our yearly apportionment for scholarship for UMC students.
- All of our churches are asked to receive a special offering for BSC on a Sunday before Easter
- All our churches that give to our special asking for BSC are being asked to advance pay that amount immediately, doubling their gift. This could produce as much as $300,000 for the college.
- All of us clergy trustees are making personal solicitations to all of our clergy alumni of BSC, asking them for special gifts and for contacts with potential donors.
- I have offered to appoint a Chaplain to Birmingham-Southern from our Conference, with the cost being borne by our Conference for one year.
As you can see, our conference is in high gear to help BSC. We’ve stepped up and saved the college before and we can do it again. Andy Wolfe and I have made a short video which will be appearing on our website in the next few days. I am currently serving on the Presidential Search Committee; we have some wonderful prospective candidates. The Faith and Ethics Lectureship that Patsy and I sponsor will take place this spring. A visitation team from our UMC University Senate will be visiting the college this spring. I urge all of our people to give generously to BSC and to send us your best students during this crucial time in the life of our beloved college in the hill.