10 Year Anniversary Logo It was in early spring 10 years ago when I received a telephone call from John Bullard, Chairman of the Pastor- Parish Relations Committee at First United Methodist Church of Montgomery. He told me that he and Mary Ellen would be hosting a luncheon for our Pastor-Parish Relations (PPR) Committee in their beautiful home, and he invited Brenda and me to join them on that occasion. Somewhere during the course of the meal that day, John shared with us that the PPR Committee was very much aware of my pending retirement, and they wanted to do something to honor both Brenda and me. Knowing of our great passion to provide financial assistance for our seminary students, John shared with us that the PPR Committee had made a unanimous decision to raise money to establish a seminary scholarship foundation in honor of us. Nothing could have thrilled our hearts more than to hear this exciting news! They set the initial goal at $300,000, amended it to $1,000,000, and they ultimately raised $1,675,000 among the members of First United Methodist Church. John also told me of their desire to put these monies in a 501c3 non-profit scholarship Foundation and asked me to serve as the volunteer president. [caption id="attachment_2338" align="alignright" width="300"]Dr. and Mrs. Karl K. Stegall Dr. and Mrs. Karl K. Stegall[/caption] What has been my motivation over these past 10 years? I can still remember my days as a district superintendent when many of our seminary students could not even pay their basic expenses of housing, meals, travel, and shoes for their children, much less their seminary tuition. I can still hear the voice of the student who called me in the middle of the night to share that his young son was hospitalized with a seizure. I can still hear the voice filled with panic of a married student who called and asked if
I could send his check early because his family did not have money for food. I can still see the face of the young man who said, “The financial pressure has been just too much on my wife, and she has made the decision to leave.” When you have observed firsthand the financial struggles among our most promising young seminary students, you want to do all that you possibly can to help them. Thanks be to God, over the past ten years, you as donors have been there to make a huge difference! Today our students are greatly encouraged. Your continued gifts will go a long way to ease the financial strain of those who are preparing for a lifetime of service to Jesus Christ and the church! Gratefully, Karl K. Stegall