During the 2017 Dinner of Celebration, the Stegall Foundation Board of Directors  presented annual awards. On behalf of the board, Rev. Tony McCullough, pastor at Brewton (Ala.) First United Methodist Church, presented the first-ever Church Appreciation Award to Fort Davis (Ala.) United Methodist Church.  The eight-annual Spirit of the Foundation award was presented to the family of the late Rev. Arthur McCoy Carlton, Sr. The new Church Appreciation Award seeks to recognize a congregation who faithfully supports the mission of the foundation, was presented to Fort Davis (Ala.) United Methodist Church.  “The Fort Davis church gives generously to support various mission projects, making our foundation one of their top priorities,” said McCullough. “In more recent years, this small membership church of only 51 members ranks in the top five churches among the 625 churches of the AWF Conference in their gifts to our foundation.”

Members of Fort Davis United Methodist Church.

Present to receive the award on behalf of the church was Rev. Keith Turner, accompanied by a delegation of members from the church. “In our church we have decided to reach out and to give, and we’re going to continue to give,” said Turner. “The United Methodist Church means so much to us and we try to always remember that ‘giving is living.'” Following the church award, the eighth annual “Spirit of the Foundation” Award was then presented to the family of the late Rev. Arthur McCoy Carlton, Sr., who died in 2016 at the age of 96.  This award is presented annually to honor a donor who has shown faithful commitment to the mission of the foundation. In presenting the award, McCullough said, “Arthur’s life was marked by generosity. He and his wife endowed scholarships at Huntingdon College, Birmingham Southern College, and Africa University. For many years, they were the top supporters of Blue Lake United Methodist Assembly. Arthur and Mabel established two trusts at the United Methodist Foundation with earnings designated for our seminary scholarships through our foundation.

Rev. Arthur McCoy Carlton, Sr.

“Just as he had remembered our seminary students in his life, Arthur in his financial planning remembered our seminary students prior to his death,” said McCullough. “Our foundation owes a great deal of gratitude to this good man, and to all of the members of the Carlton family.” Speaking on behalf of the family, Carlton’s son, Charlie, said that during a time of reflection before he died his father realized the giants who had come before him and in doing so was moved to include the foundation in his will. “Dad left a small remembrance to each of us eight children, but he left the entire residual of his estate to the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Foundation,” said Carlton. Carlton then read aloud his father’s own moving words: “I was born the son of a Methodist preacher, reared by the church, and loved by the church. I enjoyed three years of scholarship at Birmingham Southern College, three years at Duke University, and then I enjoyed 33 years of serving in the pastorate across the AWF Conference.  My entire life has been supported and intertwined with our United Methodist Church. I can think of no greater institution like the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation that can assist and provide education for our young pastors to continue the call of Christ.” Past recipients of the Spirit of the Foundation Award are: Mr. Boyd Goddard; Bishop Paul A. Duffey; Mr. John Bullard; Mr. Temple Millsap; Mr. Wayne Russell; Mr. Dan Lindsey, Sr.; and Dr. Paulette Thompson.