Churches from across the Murfreesboro area will join together Sunday (Jan. 12) for a program that will celebrate unity among congregations and help MTSU students in need of emergency financial assistance.
“Building Community: An Event for MTSU,” set for 6 to 7 p.m. at World Outreach Church, 1921 New Salem Road in Murfreesboro, was organized by a committee of local church leaders and coordinated by MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee. The event is free and open to the public.
McPhee said six area pastors will deliver “messages of community” during the program, while members of other congregations will attend to show support.
Pastors who will be speaking at Sunday’s event are:
- The Rev. Brady Cooper, New Vision Baptist Church
- The Rev. Craig Goff, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
- The Rev. Allen Jackson, World Outreach Church
- The Rev. James McCarroll, First Baptist Church
- The Rev. Dean Sisk, Belle Aire Baptist Church
- And The Rev. Vincent Windrow, Olive Branch Baptist Church
Jackson said Sunday’s event will be a “front door,” which the committee hopes will lead to future cooperation and participation of other churches.
“We are delighted to join together in supporting students,” he said. “MTSU is a valuable part of our community.”
“I am very grateful that such a broad cross section of churches has elected to deliver messages that will help unite our community,” said McPhee, wife of MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “And I am l looking forward to engaging our audience in a conversation about the needs of our students.”
Among the recommendations in MTSU’s Quest for Student Success, a plan advanced by Provost Brad Bartel and approved by President McPhee, was for more short-term emergency aid to help students set back by small, unexpected debts.
Mrs. McPhee said she will work to raise awareness and understanding on how such “micro-aid” can help some students remain on track to reaching their dreams.
“When Sidney was in graduate school, it was the generosity of friends and fellow church members who often helped us make ends meet,” she said. “We hope this Sunday’s event underscores the benefits of lending a helping hand – and the power that can come from an engaged community.
“I am also excited to see so many church leaders and congregations come together to talk about ways we can strengthen ties between all of us.”
Sunday’s event is also connected to the True Blue Community Initiative, a grassroots effort launched by McCarroll last September to deepen support for MTSU academics and athletics across all segments of the community.
Anyone wishing to contribute toward this effort can make out a check to the MTSU Foundation, and mail it to the Office of Development, MTSU PO Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Be sure to designate the gift to the “MTSU Student Assistance Fund” on the memo line of the check. Gifts without designation will be placed into the Annual Fund.
— Andrew Oppmann (firstname.lastname@example.org)