Growing up, Mayzie Purviance split her time between working on her family's Texas cattle ranch, going to school, and participating in church services and activities.
She said her mother is a "cradle Methodist," who met her father at Cuthand United Methodist Church in Bogata, Texas, when they were teenagers. "Thirty years later, our family still attends Cuthand UMC and my father became the part-time local pastor there 11 years ago."
Purviance's church upbringing has had a lasting impact on her.
"I am so thankful to have been raised in church my entire life," she said. "I have loved the Lord and had a relationship with him for as long as I can remember. I have been raised a United Methodist and so appreciate all the support I have received from my church family through the years."
That support includes receiving a Gift of Hope scholarship, which is funded by offerings on United Methodist Student Day. She said the money has allowed her to complete her first year of college debt-free.
Purviance is pursuing her bachelor's degree in agriculture communication and journalism at Texas A&M University with the hopes of writing for an agriculture publication one day.
She said her faith continues to play an important role in her life.
"My faith is interwoven in all my life choices. In all big decisions, I have learned to pray, pray some more, and pray more until I get 'peace' about my decision. My love for God bleeds through in all my writings for the newspaper and school assignments," she said.
As a freshman, Purviance entered a poetry-writing contest at school and won first place. Having her poem published is among the highlights of her schooling so far.
In addition to her studies, Purviance continues to give back to her community, a value instilled in her by her church. She has a heart for mission work and continues to serve while in school.
"I enjoy helping others and feel that Jesus calls us to help those less fortunate. I tutor low-income junior high students. I also help at the church by helping teach a Sunday school class for our third- and fourth-grade students."
She encourages United Methodists to continue to give generously on United Methodist Student Day so that students like her can grow their faith and knowledge.
"I believe these scholarships are another mission of the church — another way the church can be the hands and feet of Christ."
Julie Dwyer, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications
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.