By Helene Carter
“Don’t just talk about, be about it,” said Paine College alumnus Reverend Melvin Ivey, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta, Inc. On June 18th, Reverend Ivey and seven Baptist ministers presented a $15,000 check to Dr. George C. Bradley, President, to establish an endowed scholarship at Paine College. The Baptist Ministers Conference has a history of giving faithfully and generously to Paine College students for over 30 years. “We are here today because the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta and our faithful congregations believe that we must be about “walking the walk,” said Reverend Ivey. Paine College touches the entire community and it has always served as a beacon of hope and a place where dreams are fulfilled. Paine will always remain a sound investment.”
“This is the gift that will keep on giving”, commented Reverend Rufus Copeland who proudly announced that he is the father of two daughters who graduated from Paine College.
“This is a way to strengthen the foundation of the Institution that has nurtured and prepared thousands of students for leadership on the global stage since its inception,” echoed President Bradley. “A strong endowment ensures the stability of the College and opens a perpetual door to deserving students to obtain equal access to a quality education.”
The College will allow the $15,000 endowed fund to accrue interest for one year before distributing earnings in the form of a scholarship. The Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta (BMCA) set the criteria for the award. The scholarship will be awarded to a rising sophomore, junior or senior of good character with a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average. The scholarship recipient will be required to volunteer his/her service for the BMCA Tutorial Program.
A strong endowment ensures the stability of the College and offers tuition assistance and scholarships based upon financial need. Currently, Paine College provides essential scholarship support and tuition assistance to over 95% of the student population.
“We are not just a Church in the community, but a Church that reaches the community,” said Reverend A. J. Saunders, describing the member churches and the BMCA’s mission. Nodding in approval, Reverend Moses D. Anderson, commented, “We represent the total man (mind, body, and spirit). And that is why we are here today. The Church has a purpose and through our relationship with God, we know that supporting Paine College is the right thing to do.”
The BMCA represents 50 churches. Annually, during February, the BMCA hosts the Baptist Day worship service on the campus to benefit Paine College. The churches convene during this special service to report gifts and donations for the College. According to Reverend Ivey, the BMCA is committed to increasing the endowed scholarship annually and expect the fund to grow significantly over time.
To establish an endowed or annual scholarship at Paine College, contact Frances D. Wimberly at 706.821.8323, Fwimberly@paine.edu. To learn more about the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta, Inc., please contact Reverend Ivey at 706.798.3928, or via email: Ivey916316@bellsouth.net.