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Annual Conference reaches million dollar goal

As Mississippi United Methodists celebrate the end of a fruitful partnership to benefit Africa University.

During the 2016 Session of the Mississippi Annual Conference leaders announced the conference kept its promise of $1.3 million toward Africa University scholarships.

"The Mississippi Annual Conference has received $451,295.26.  These funds are on deposit at the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation earning interest for additional funding of those endowed scholarships.   The 2015 offering was $228,128 and the 2016 receipts as of June 30 are $223,167.  This is a great reflection of the generosity of our Mississippi United Methodist," said Conference Treasurer, David Stotts. 

The conference's commitment to the university brought joy to Reverend Ella DeDeaux. She is the pastor of United Methodist congregations Mt. Zion and St. Paul in Pass Christian, Mississippi. In 2012, DeDeaux was an exchange student at Africa University. Her experience gave her the chance to meet those students from poverty and disease stricken communities across the continent of Africa -- where girls may never even step foot in a classroom.

"I am a supporter of education anyway. But certainly in the areas where education is not as accessible and every child has to pay for their education. It is not like it's free, so they work hard to go school...I think the support is fantastic. The university is growing," said DeDeaux.

Ed Jones of Madison United Methodist Church, near Jackson Mississippi, was also thrilled over the conference's pledge to Africa University. He's retired with a doctorate in education.   Like DeDeaux, Jones is making plans to join Bishop James Swanson Sr. on a tour of Africa University in March 2017.

"The fact that we are doing all these things to help people, I see that as feeding the lambs. Feed my sheep. That is what Jesus said and I think He expects that of us," stated Jones.

Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Mississippi Conference Communications Specialist
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.

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