The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology recently received a $250,000 gift from Atlanta’s United Baptist Church, which held its last service on Jan. 17 and gave a portion of its trust to the School.
The church was established in 1996 when Capitol View Baptist Church in Atlanta and Bethsaida Baptist Church in Fayetteville merged. At the time of the merger, the congregation determined that, upon its disbandment, the church would give a portion of the proceeds from the sale of its property to the School’s endowment.
United Baptist Church pastor Rev. Bill Sperry said he is proud of the decision that the church made. “It’s a great thing,” he said. “I am so proud of Mercer and so proud of what has happened. It’s been an exciting time and I’m so thrilled.” The church had been a long-time supporter of the School.
Jim Dowd, chairman of the United Baptist Church Board of Deacons, said the vote to make the gift to Mercer was unanimous. “The church wanted to make sure the money went to serve the Lord’s purposes, and many people thought that Mercer was the best choice,” Dowd said. “They thought that giving to the school would be a worthwhile gift and they wanted to contribute to the work that it does.”
Dr. Alan Culpepper, dean of the School, said the gift allows McAfee the opportunity to educate more students. “The McAfee School of Theology is grateful for the faithfulness and foresight of Bill Sperry and the membership of United Baptist Church in creating this legacy for the church through the education of ministers for future generations,” he said. “McAfee has 340 graduates, half of whom are serving congregations across Georgia and the Southeast. The legacy of United Baptist will make it possible for McAfee to serve even more students and churches in the future.”