I was driving down I-85 the other day when I pulled up

behind a large 18 wheeler. I could not help but notice on

the back of the shiny red truck an inscription printed in


63 FEET AHEAD!” Out of curiosity, I pulled up beside

the truck and noticed that it was owned by Crete Carrier

in Lincoln Nebraska. As I looked on the side of the truck

there was a big arrow pointing to the driver with large


When I waved to the driver, a big smile came across his

face. I could tell immediately that he was pleased that his

company back home in Lincoln had let everyone know

from Nebraska to Alabama that he was a person of great

worth and genuinely appreciated.

As I read those two inscriptions on the back and sides of

that shiny 18 wheeler, there were two things that immediately

came to my mind in my role as the volunteer President

of our Scholarship Foundation:

I. Encouragement of Our Seminary Students. Elton

Trueblood, the late President of Yokefellows, always reminded

his readers that one of the greatest gifts that any

of us can give does not cost a solitary dime and that is the

gift of encouragement. Trueblood reminded us that the

word “encourage” containing the Latin word “cour” meaning

“heart” literally means “to put heart into someone.” One

of the pleasant surprises that I have discovered in raising

money for our seminary students is that, oftentimes, the

money that our seminary students so gratefully receive is

only half of the gift. When they are 500 miles away from

home, they are equally touched that someone whom they

may never know loves them, cares deeply about them, and

wants to encourage them.

2. Importance of Eff ective Pastors Providing Leadership.

Our sole mission is to encourage and provide support

for our seminary students who are preparing to serve

churches within our Alabama-West Florida Conference.

I am sure that there are some rare exceptions, but I have

personally never known a strong church fi lled with excitement

and enthusiasm that did not have someone sitting in

the driver’s seat as an eff ective pastor. Th at eff ective pastor

might be a Phi Beta Kappa graduate or a high school dropout.

He/she might be an elder or a local pastor. However, if

that pastor genuinely loves Jesus, loves others, and longs for

the church to truly be the body of Jesus Christ in the world,

that pastor will be eff ective. Our sole mission as a Foundation

is to provide an opportunity for each of our recipients

to be as eff ective as they can possibly be!

As you travel down the highway towards your church,

just remember, “Our Most Valuable Resource Sits in Th e

Pulpit Chair 63 Feet Ahead!”

Karl K. Stegall