Time is swiftly moving along. Thursday will mark the end of my second month at Gammon. It has been a time of challenge and excitement. There are a great number of things on the agenda that needs to be done very quickly. We are challenged due to the fact that many things have been neglected for a long period of time. The excitement arises when staff and our Gammon Ambassadors work together as a Championship Team in getting the jobs done, one at a time. The real credit goes to God.
It is now time for me to accelerate the speed in raising funds in support of the Scholarships for Scholars Initiative as well as the recruitment of students for matriculation at Gammon. I am now scheduling "one on one" conferences with a number of our pastors requesting to be included in the budget of their local churches. Also, I will be meeting with alumni in different sections of the country seeking financial support for our school. It is imperative for us to do a much better job in reaching many more students to prepare for ministry with us.
I want to encourage every graduate and former student of Gammon to attend the Founder's Day activities, December 4-5, 2017. You will be richly blessed because we intend to make you proud.
Remember, we can do all things together.
This past week was a roller coaster experience, fast, up and down with twists and turns. It started in the town of Charlottesville, Virginia where two opposing groups were exercising their constitutional right of free speech. The order of the day ended up in violence. Lives were lost, many were injured and others were arrested. A series of demonstrations sprung up in major centers across the nation and symbols of racism were taken down.
Our Commander in Chief obviously experienced his worst week while in office. The flow of his responses were most disturbing. He moved from being silent, to making a weak statement, to being politically correct, only to revealing the real insensitive self. He should not be expected to be what he is not - a moral leader. In the words of Michelle Obama, "When they go low, we go high". There is truth and power in her words. May they find a place in the inner recesses of our beings.
Classes start this week at the I. T. C. It is my prayer that God will bless every professor to be at his/her best in imparting information in such a way as to stimulate the hunger in the heart of every student to grow intellectually and spiritually. The need for well trained and committed clergy and Christian workers is greater now than ever before.
We are stepping into the future with the assurance that all things are possible, if we would only believe.
I have just returned from Inglewood, California where I represented Gammon in the Service of Celebration of Life for Mrs. Mary Frances Johnson Jefferson, a 1943 graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary. It was a tremendous experience and Gammon is positioned to be blessed by this new and renewed connection.
Now, the events of last week in Charlottesville, Virginia should stir the indignation of every American with a sensitivity to the plight of the nation under the leadership of a man who is always right and never wrong. Furthermore, the President refuses to call out persons responsible for leading in the acts of violence. The Church must be willing to take a stand and address the evil of the world as followers of Jesus Christ. In other words I ask, "what would Jesus do"?
On a happy note, congratulations are in order for Rev. Yvette Massey, Pastor of Central UMC, on recently being elected as President of the National Black Clergy Women. I pray that she will serve faithfully as a prophetic leader. Also, congratulations are extended to two of our Gammon students: Bobby Jones ('19), who has become a part of the ministerial team at Bethel UMC and Kylan Pew ('19), who has connected with Hoosier UMC. It is a win win situation for both congregation and student. Thanks to Reverend Gary Dean ('92) (Hoosier) and Reverend Dr. Michael Stinson ('06) (Bethel) for their assistance in helping our Gammon students prepare for Christian ministry. Thanks to the members of both congregations for sharing in this noble cause.
In the words of Dr. Earnest A. Smith, "Our time under God is now."
Together, we can do all things.
August signals the official beginning of the 2017-18 Academic Year at the ITC. The agenda includes New Student Orientation on Thursday, August 17th. This is a daylong session. We will conduct an Orientation Session on Friday morning for our Gammon students that will conclude with lunch at Paschal's. Our students will receive information unique to us as United Methodists. Classes will begin on Monday, August 21st. Join with us in praying for a productive school year.
A Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees has been called by Bishop James Swanson on August 21, 2017 at 10:00 a. m. with a limited agenda. I am grateful for the leadership provided by the members on the Board.
Let us remember in prayer the family of Mrs. Mary Frances Johnson Jefferson, a member of the Class of 1943 at Gammon. A Service Celebrating her Life will be held on Saturday, August 12th at Inglewood First UMC in California. I will represent Gammon at the service and preach at the Sunday morning Worship Service. A special offering will be received in support of Gammon. I am grateful for the Rev. Victor Cyrus-Franklin's agreeing to this act of generous love.
Please mark your calendar for December 5 & 6, 2017 for our Gammon Founder's Day and Thirkield-Jones Lecture Series. Your presence and support represent the keys to our success in moving forward.
Together, we can do all things.