The Stegall Foundation annually presents a “Church Appreciation Award” to honor a church showing faithful commitment to the mission of the foundation. The  2021 recipient of this award is Hopewell United Methodist Church in Lee County (Ala.).The church was established in 1846, and this year, the church celebrates its 175th anniversary. Hopewell is located in the Beauregard community, six miles south of Opelika, and nine miles southeast of Auburn. Over the past 175 years, the Hopewell Church has been a beacon of light to those living in rural Lee County.

Throughout the years, Hopewell has often been served by either seminary students or those who recently graduated. Among their former pastors have been: Wilbur Walton, Tor- rence Maxey, Robert Wilson, R.C. Warren, Tim ompson, Philip McVay, David Chunn, Bobby Holladay, Andy Gartman, Matt O’Reilly, Chris Walker, and Daniel Randall.

In 2015, Rev. Drue Tubbs was appointed to be the church’s pastor. Under her leadership, the Hopewell Church has been fully engaged in mission at home and around the world. When the devastating tornado hit Lee County on March 3, 2019, members of Hopewell were among the first to step for- ward and assist the victims.

Among all of the wonderful things that have transpired at Hopewell over the past six years, none has been greater than their outpouring of love and support shown for our seminary students. Among all of the 550 churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, the Hopewell Church, though small in membership, ranks among the Top 10 churches of our Confer- ence in their financial support. eir gifts of several thousand dollars over the last few years have made a huge difference.

In light of the great support that the Hopewell Church has shown for our seminary students over the past 175 years, and more especially, over the past 14 years since our Seminary Scholarship Foundation came into existence, we are delighted to announce that Hopewell is the recipient of this year’s award. We look forward to a time when we may make the official award presentation in person to Rev. Tubbs and the church.