Brandon Cade credits church, Wesley Foundation with strengthening faith

"My mother, a nurse, and my father, a diesel mechanic trainer, have always pushed me to aim high and to try to achieve whatever I set out to accomplish," said Brandon Cade, now a student at the University of Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

The oldest of three children, Brandon grew up outside Brookhaven, Mississippi.

"Going to a small school where I had a class of around 50 students through all of elementary and high school was a blessing," he said. "The greater focus on the students was just what I needed. During high school, I played on the football team, and my big takeaway from this experience was the value of teamwork and perseverance."

In his hometown, Brandon recalled, "Everyone either knows me or a family member. This familiarity is unique and special."

The Cade family are active members of New Hope United Methodist Church in Wesson, Mississippi. "My mother serves as the youth director, while my father serves as the lay leader and on various church committees," Brandon said. "I maintain a position on our Staff Parish Relations Committee." He also is on the Finance Committee.

"My faithful church involvement has allowed me to have a support system," he continued.

Brandon's campus minister told him about the Gift of Hope Scholarship, supported by United Methodist Student Day Sunday, and the young man was grateful for the assistance.

Your gifts on United Methodist Student Day, enables The United Methodist Church to supports the Gift of Hope Scholarship so that students can prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge.

Brandon Cade (2nd from left) serving Pancakes at Fall Study Break.

"Without the financial help," he said, "I would be forced to work more hours at my part-time job instead of using my time to study for the strenuous classes in which I am enrolled.

"My faith is stronger than ever, due to my increased involvement with the USM Wesley Foundation." As a college sophomore, Brandon participated in a statewide Wesley Foundation retreat. "Our college chapter," he said, "got to rest and recharge for a weekend with other students, and the experience was very powerful and uplifting."

As a Wesley Foundation leader at USM, Brandon helps with events throughout the school year.

"I do a lot of outreach and mission work aimed toward helping USM students with events such as Pancake Study Break during final exam week and getting a group of fellow Wesley Foundation students to help with the dormitory move-in days in the hopes of reaching the students who need a support group and, most of all, Jesus Christ in their lives," he said.

Majoring in finance and accounting, Brandon hopes to work in his hometown bank and continue his involvement at New Hope UMC. "I have always aspired to become the best bank employee possible," he said. "My determination and personal resolve will not allow me to do less than my best. I am excited to see what is in store for me after I graduate and embark upon the journey of life."

Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom

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