04/28/08 — Foundation raises more than $1 million

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Foundation raises more than $1 million

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on April 28, 2008 1:45 PM

LUCAMA -- Gifts totaling nearly $1.69 million have been made to the North Carolina Foundation for Christian Ministries since it was inaugurated three years ago.

That was reported last week by Dr. Don Robeiro of Snow Hill, the treasurer of the organization. He spoke at the foundation's third annual meeting.

The foundation, which is based in Mount Olive, holds funds primarily for scholarships for students studying for ministry, but money may also be designated for other charitable causes. Leaders of the Original Free Will Baptist denomination, which supports Mount Olive College, established the foundation.

Robeiro reported that the foundation has $1.6 million worth of endowments. The endowments were established with money from donors who are members or friends of the Original Free Will Baptist churches.

Most of the donors specified that money from their funds be used for scholarships, but some also specified other causes, such as churches, church camps, children's homes and the Mount Olive College library.

Robeiro, a physician, said that in addition to the endowments, the foundation had a separate scholarship fund of $19,350, an additional $17,137, and $45,000 in charitable gift annuities, for total assets of $1,689,966 at the beginning of 2008.

Dr. W. Burkette Raper, the foundation's director, told the gathering that the primary goal is to equip those called to ministry to do "work that is worthy of God."

He said the foundation provides a way -- establishing and endowment -- for people to continue after their own lives have ended to support Christian work.

"Don't let your work stop when your heart stops," he said.

The meeting was a celebration of Mount Olive College's liaison with Campbell University, which allows Mount Olive students to earn graduate degrees at the Campbell University Divinity School.

Dr. Michael Cogdill, dean of the divinity school, said the arrangement was a success. He told those attending that eight recipients of scholarships from the foundation are enrolled at Campbell.

He said that the divinity school produces about 50 graduates per year, and it has never had a single person to graduate who was not free of tuition debt. "That is not the trend in theological education," he said.

Altogether, 15 students are attending various colleges on scholarship money from the foundation.

Cogdill introduced the guest speaker, who his associate dean at Campbell, Dr. Bruce Powers. Powers, citing the fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians, said all Christians have gifts that can be used in some kind of ministry.

The year meeting was held at the Little Rock Original Free Will Baptist Church at Lucama. Donnie E. Lassiter of Selma presided.