Twenty-nine students from the Mississippi Conference received United Methodist scholarships in 2016 through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). As the denomination prepares for the annual United Methodist Student Day, church-wide offering, a couple of the Mississippi awardees share their gratitude for scholarships.
Chelsey Overstreet is a seven-time recipient of scholarships provided by the church. Overstreet grew up attending Oxford-University UMC in Oxford, Mississippi. At a young age, she was active in many areas of the church and credits her church family for identifying her leadership abilities. A graduate of Millsaps College, Overstreet currently studies to earn a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is also an intern at the Crievewood United Methodist Church in Nashville. She said it is humbling to know that there are people in the church that support students.
"These recent years in graduate school have probably been the most financially difficult. So, I have been grateful and have relied on scholarships to make ends meet. Books expenses, transportation expenses, rent and everything that a person needs to live as a student, the scholarships have helped make ends meet," she said.
Michael Lindsay has been a member of Starkville First UMC in Starkville, Mississippi since birth. He said faithful prayers of his family and church friends helped develop him. Like Overstreet, Lindsay is overwhelmed by the generosity of givers. All the scholarships he obtained paid for his tuition at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky where he plans to earn a Master of Divinity. Currently, he is on a one-year sabbatical from seminary to be a resident member of The Community of St. Anselm, based in London, England. This past September, he and 13 others joined the Archbishop of Canterbury in his residence at Lambeth Palace to spend 10 months in a monastic style community.
Lindsay said those donating, may never know the impact their generosity has on students who receive it.
"The stress and anxiety that financial burdens lay on people's hearts, can sometimes become too much to handle, but your selflessness and generosity has alleviated many heavy hearts from the pain of wondering, 'How in the world will an education be possible without drowning in debt?' To people considering giving, be the answer to someone's prayer," Lindsay pleaded.
The Rev. Dr. Larry Hilliard, Director of Spiritual Leadership for the Mississippi Conference, gave words of praise for United Methodist working together for students.
"These scholarship recipients are very deserving and make me proud to be a United Methodist from Mississippi. The scholarships are awarded by the General Board of Higher Education and Campus ministries. That shows how the connection of The United Methodist Church is alive, well and serving our people. I am thankful for those who give of their monies to fund these scholarships for they see the value in our future."
Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Communications Specialist, Mississippi Conference
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.
When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Give now.