Africa University leaders and friends to gather in North Charleston this month

NORTH CHARLESTON—Africa University will hold key meetings of its leaders and advisors in the Palmetto State Feb. 22-25, 2018.

The meetings and special events were initially scheduled for September 2017, but were postponed because of travel and safety concerns related to Hurricane Irma.

South Carolina Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston will be the host for events of the Africa University Board and Advisory Development committees in North Charleston, with support from the superintendents of the Charleston and Walterboro districts. The choice of North Charleston for these events cements Africa University’s special relationship with the South Carolina Conference.

The first major gift (or launch gift) to Africa University was made in 1991 by South Carolina farmers Dr. Jonas and Odette Kennedy of Bennettsville. Subsequent gifts from churches and individuals funded construction of the Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey Theology Building and endowed scholarships that enable more than a dozen young women and men to access a life-changing educational experience each year. The upcoming events celebrate the impact of the conference’s ongoing investment in Africa University.

Bishop and Felecia Holston will be recognized with the Drum Award, Africa University’s highest honor for development/advancement contributions, during the February events in North Charleston.

Members of the Africa University Board of Directors, as well as senior executives, longstanding university friends and supporters, will travel to North Charleston from sub-Saharan Africa and from across the United States for the development committee meetings and three major events at the North Charleston Marriott Hotel:

  • Formal launch event/dinner celebrating the progress of the $50 million Campaign for Africa University Feb. 23 beginning at 6 p.m.
  • Richard E. “Dick” Reeves Legacy Society Dinner, at which persons who have made planned gifts or bequests are inducted and recognized, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.; and
  • Africa University Sunday Saturation Event involving 19 churches in the Charleston and Walterboro districts. The churches will host Africa University guest preachers, speakers and Sunday school presenters during worship services Feb. 25.

Attending the events are Dr. Munashe Furusa, the vice chancellor/CEO of Africa University and other university administrators and members of the Board of Directors from Africa; Bishop Marcus Matthews, chairperson of the Africa University Board of Directors; and Bishop Julius Trimble, chairperson of the Africa University Advisory Development Committee and the Africa University Board Development Committee.

A 16-member Africa University Chamber Choir begins its 2018 Black History Month visit to the Palmetto State in mid-February. The choir, comprised of students from six African nations, will headline and lead worship at the South Carolina United Methodist Men’s “Come to the Water” spiritual gathering in Myrtle Beach from Feb. 16-17. The choir will also participate in the launch event/dinner in North Charleston Feb. 23. There are several public performances scheduled. Venues include Christ Church, Myrtle Beach; Little River UMC, Little River; Washington Street UMC, Columbia; Charity Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston; and Edisto Fork UMC, Orangeburg.

Many of the university’s friends and partners from South Carolina and the neighboring states that comprise the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church will be joining the trustees, administrators and alumni of Africa University in North Charleston. Two South Carolinians serve in the leadership of Africa University—James H. Salley (Orangeburg) is the associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and Elaine Jenkins (John’s Island) is the director of planned giving.

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