Letter from the Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

Dear Friends,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is wonderful and exciting to see Mississippi United Methodists embracing this initiative, the Mississippi – Africa University Partnership, in order to make a major new investment in the Africa University Endowment Fund. Thank you for your commitment to modeling love, justice, generosity and life-changing discipleship across our global church.

Among the Dinka people of South Sudan there is a proverb which says “what you give birth to, redeems you.” In Africa University, Mississippians have helped to birth and grow a ministry that redeems and transforms, both in the giving and the receiving.

The Mississippi Conference’s engagement and investment in Africa University over the past two decades is a great example of connection and the transcendental “POWER of We.” This relationship goes back to the conversations through which Africa University was conceived. The massive cross and flame that currently sits on a hilltop above the main campus, your gift to the university in 1994, celebrates our connectedness. That cross and flame, with all that it symbolizes, is still inspiring dreams and drawing people in.

Leaders in the Mississippi Conference—among them, the Rev. Jimmy Carr, a founding member of the Africa University Board of Directors; and Dr. Aubrey Lucas, a former treasurer of the board and longstanding member of the Africa University Advisory Development Committee—have invested greatly in shaping the governance and development of the university. VIM teams from the Mississippi Conference have helped with teaching and the construction of campus infrastructure. Year after year, the funds you have invested in endowed scholarships allow students, who would not otherwise be able to obtain a college education, to equip themselves to lead and serve in Africa and around the world.

We thank God for the visionary leadership of Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. and for the enthusiasm and dedication to Africa University in the Mississippi Conference. Thank you for continuing to invest in the good work you started over two decades ago so that its future is assured.

This is our calling. To bless as we have been blessed. To share our light so that others might have an experience of God’s grace and mercy that changes them forever. To make disciples for the transformation of the world.

Thanks to your generosity and prayers, Africa University will continue to grow and contribute to a peaceful, just and abundant future in and beyond Africa. It will continue as a ministry that enables people to connect with and live out God’s call on their lives.

May God bless and keep you always for you are truly, the church in the world.


James H. Salley

Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement