ATLANTA — Mercer University’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology recently received a $250,000 gift from Atlanta’s United Baptist Church, which held its last service on Jan. 17 and gave a portion of its trust to the School.
The church was established in 1996 when Capitol View Baptist Church in Atlanta and Bethsaida Baptist Church in Fayetteville merged. At the time of the merger, the congregation determined that, upon its disbandment, the church would give a portion of the proceeds from the sale of its property to the School’s endowment.
United Baptist Church pastor Rev. Bill Sperry said he is proud of the decision that the church made. “It’s a great thing,” he said. “I am so proud of Mercer and so proud of what has happened. It’s been an exciting time and I’m so thrilled.” The church had been a long-time supporter of the School.
Jim Dowd, chairman of the United Baptist Church Board of Deacons, said the vote to make the gift to Mercer was unanimous. “The church wanted to make sure the money went to serve the Lord’s purposes, and many people thought that Mercer was the best choice,” Dowd said. “They thought that giving to the school would be a worthwhile gift and they wanted to contribute to the work that it does.”
Dr. Alan Culpepper, dean of the School, said the gift allows McAfee the opportunity to educate more students. “The McAfee School of Theology is grateful for the faithfulness and foresight of Bill Sperry and the membership of United Baptist Church in creating this legacy for the church through the education of ministers for future generations,” he said. “McAfee has 340 graduates, half of whom are serving congregations across Georgia and the Southeast. The legacy of United Baptist will make it possible for McAfee to serve even more students and churches in the future.”
About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and Mercer’s Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit theology.mercer.edu.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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