April 3 – Black College Fund
A Moment for Mission
“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13b-14, NRSV
A graduate of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, Josefa Bethea Wall followed the path set by her mother, grandmother and others in her family. Her father attended another historically Black college: Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina. Josefa studied accounting and business administration.
“My college experience,” Josefa said, “helped me discern my interests and turn them into my life’s work in nonprofit management. A small, liberal arts, church-related institution provided me opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with my peers and those with the charge of pushing and pulling us to be our best selves. Many professors and staff members were members of the church I attended, so our interactions were not limited to campus and the classroom. We are still connected more than 30 years later.”
Josefa became a Black College Fund ambassador in 1984, visiting United Methodist congregations, sharing her dreams for the future and saying, “Thank you.” She still loves telling the Black College Fund story.
“As part of a connectional church,” she said, “each member played a part in my education. I represent a return on their investment. I am one of many students who have benefited from their giving.
“It is exciting to share the significant impact the church has had throughout my life. It is important for me to support the church that has supported me.”
Through the Black College Fund, we provide an encouraging, inclusive educational landscape that helps students reach their full potential.
What do you want to be when you grow up? The possibilities are endless!
For many jobs, you must go to college. College is expensive. Maybe someone is saving money for your college education. If you earn good grades, you might get a scholarship that will help pay for college.
The United Methodist Church supports 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities—HBCUs for short—and a medical school. All offer many courses of study. And while most of their students are African American, they welcome people from all backgrounds.
Many students at United Methodist HBCUs receive scholarships. Some are the first in their families to go to college.
By giving to the Black College Fund, United Methodists help HBCUs and their students, and that is good news.
Loving God, thank you for the opportunities provided by our church’s historically Black colleges and universities. Be with students as they pursue their dreams. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday in Lent — Loving God, you give and give, and didn’t think the life of your son was too high a price to pay for our salvation. Jesus’ life was an example of sacrificial giving, all the way to the cross. As we give this day, we want our gifts to impact the world, but even more, we want them to bring glory to Christ, who lived and died for all your children. Help us to not hold back anything. We pray in the name of your son, our savior and redeemer, Amen. (John 12:1-8)
The United Methodist Church supports 11 fully accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities, more than any other religious denomination in the U.S.
Each year, more than 15,000 students attend these institutions, pursuing degrees in agriculture, engineering, social work, forensics, environmental science and more.
For every dollar donated, 96.5 cents directly benefit students, facilities and infrastructure.
Over 70 percent of students at Black College Fund-supported schools are eligible for Pell Grants because their families hover at the poverty line or earn less than $50,000.
Annually, more than 3,000 well-prepared graduates go out into the world, transforming the church and the community.
Even during the recession and the pandemic, United Methodists continued to be generous, giving over 80% of the yearly apportioned amount of $9 million.
BCF alumni include retired bishops Woodie White, Jonathan Keaton, James King and Robert Hayes; former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders; and Azie Taylor Morton, the only African American treasurer of the U.S.
Thank you for supporting the Black College Fund!