By Brenda Harris Haywood
At St. John Church in Clarksville, TN the church’s Motto is “It’s All About JESUS!” Oh my, and did the members of St. John under the leadership of Bishop Alvin E. Miller, Sr. live up to their motto in a very big way as it expressed compassion to the TSU Family by donating $3,577.00 during its morning worship service on Sunday, May 5, 2013! Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, President, Tennessee State University rendered a powerful and inspiring message to the congregants at St. John Missionary Baptist Church as the keynote speaker during the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Dr. Glover was accompanied by her husband (Charles Glover) and a few staff members from TSU. Some of the people in attendance stood with cheers and expressions of excitement the during entire service as Dr. Glover shared her electrifying speech about how GOD’s Grace and Mercy brought her from the dirt roads of Memphis to the marvelous road as TSU President.
As the newly appointed President of TSU, Dr. Glover made a pledge to the students, alumni, and friends of TSU that she would do everything within her power to keep students from having to return home because the lack of financial support by the university to assist students in dire need of financial support in order to stay in school. The media report that some 500 TSU students had to leave the university in 2011/2012 school year because there was not enough financial support caught the attention of Bishop Miller to the point that he brought the issue to the St. John Church Family for intervention and support. The congregation of St. John Church loved the idea of helping TSU raise funds in order to help educate students in need of financial support that the members began selling dinners and soliciting its membership for donations for TSU. “Just the thought of helping to make a dream come true for a youth is a an incredible feeling; but to actually become part of a support system that invests and put up the escrow money that guarantees the future of our youth is Awesome to say the least,” according to Bishop Miller.
Bishop Miller believes many HBCUs started with church support, and if HBCUs are to continue providing quality education to some of the brightest minds in the world, then the church community must continue to financially support many of these colleges and universities that are currently struggling financially all across the nation. Bishop Miller believes many of the colleges and universities that have endured the Shackles and Scares of Slavery, Jim Crowism, the Great Depression, Lynching Mobs, Segregationists, and the fight for Civil Rights are in a struggle to overcome financial hardship or have their doors closed forever. Bishop Miller believes if 1000 churches in Middle Tennessee commit to donating $100 annually this would generate $100,000 which could be divided by four giving each of the selected or identified schools $25,000. Such a great and compassionate deed could become a reality with little effort only if we commit ourselves to the cause, says Miller.
The St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Clarksville, TN has partnered with TSU annually in order to help the university meet its student body financial goals. The St. John Church Family at Clarksville, TN loves the idea of partnering with TSU so much that it has already started planning its 2014 TSU Fund Raiser, and is looking forward to having Dr. Glover and the TSU staff back for the first Sunday in May 2014.