Rev. Mike Hicks, Associate Director
The Mississippi United Methodist Foundation announces the
creation of the Anita Gunter Memorial Endowment for the Wesley Foundation of Itawamba Community College. Dr. Doyce Gunter, Anita's widower, desired to honor his wife and her life-long interest in young people by creating an endowment for the Wesley Foundation of ICC. Many will remember the selfless service of the Gunters during their time at Wood College. Dr. Gunter served as the president of the college for a number of years.
He shared that his first motivation was his work among the United Methodist churches of Itawamba County. Their goal was to discover how the church could better support the work of ministry within the county. One of the first targets of the county churches was the Wesley Foundation at ICC. At the time, the Wesley Foundation had a small board and little financial support. It was being served by a part-time director. Dr. Gunter's dream was to have a full-time director. His vision of a full-time director became a reality in 2012, but there was still a need for funding.
He said, "The Lord has blessed me with far more than I could ever imagine."
Gunter said the Lord began to direct him toward support of the Wesley Foundation. His second motivation for the endowment was Mrs. Gunter's connection with ICC. She was a graduate of ICC and then completed her four year degree at the University of North Alabama in Florence. The Gunters returned to ICC for homecomings and other events. Dr. Gunter even taught religion there for three years when he served as pastor at Tremont UMC. After his wife's death, he said, "It was an easy decision to honor Anita's memory with an endowment for the work of the Wesley Foundation at ICC. I knew the Methodist Foundation was the right place to invest the funds."
Martha Scarborough, executive director of the Methodist Foundation stated that she was honored to work with Dr. Gunter in establishing the endowment. She said, "I am humbled to think about the size of this gift in light of the Gunters' years of ministry within the life of the church."
Gunter's gift in memory of his wife will provide $1,200 to the Wesley Foundation at ICC during the first year. Future earnings should provide much more for the work of ministry. Those wishing to make a contribution to the Anita Gunter Memorial Endowment may do so by sending their checks to The Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, P.O. Box 2415, Ridgeland, MS 39158-2415. For further information, please contact the foundation at 601-948-8845.