One of my favorite hymns down through the years has been the great hymn written by Fanny Crosby entitled, “To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Hath Done.” I dearly love the chorus, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give Him the glory, great things He hath done!”

I have been humming the tune of that great hymn in recent days for two specific reasons. First, in the midst of this terrible pandemic, I find strength in the knowledge that the words to this great hymn were written by Fanny Crosby who was totally blind. In her despair, she could have easily drowned herself in self-pity, but she focused on the great strength that she found in Jesus Christ. That is why she chose to write another great hymn, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine.”

However, there is a second reason that I have been humming that tune in recent days, and that is because in the midst of our pandemic, God has continued to do great things through each of you! Because of your generosity, we are now not only giving a minimum of $10,000 annually in a cash scholarship to each full-time seminary student, but we are now supporting all of our course of study students, most of which are serving small membership churches throughout our Conference. While our No. 1 priority will always be that of supporting seminary students who will return to serve churches within our area, I am so excited that we have recently fulfilled the Great Commission “to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Several months ago, our Conference established a partnership with the Methodist Church of Tanzania. Because of your great generosity, we are now able to go the “second mile” and support all 30 of the ministerial students at Wesley College in Tanzania.

For 13 consecutive years during the month of August, we have been privileged to host a giant seminary scholarship banquet with approximately 450 guests to hear the personal stories of our seminary students and their words of thanks for your generous support. We were not able to do that this past August, but we do want you to know of our deepest sense of gratitude. As I think of each of you as donors today, I wish I could sing enthusiastically to you, “To God Be e Glory, Great ings He Hath Done!”

-Karl K. Stegall