Millsaps consecrates Wesley statue


Special to the Advocate

The Millsaps community dedicated a statue of John Wesley during homecoming weekend Oct. 27.

The bronze statue, located just north of the Millsaps library where it overlooks the college’s Bowl, was created by sculptor Ben Watts of Columbia, a 1980 alumnus of the college.


The statue was presented to the college on behalf of United Methodist donors and alumni of the classes of 1964, ’65 and ’66. Fundraising efforts were spurred by Lee McCormick, class of 1966; Kay Barksdale, class of 1964; and Ward Van Skiver, class of 1965. In the presentation, Van Skiver announced, “We hope that Mr. Wesley’s presence in this place will be a constant reminder of our Methodist heritage and the college’s commitment to personal and social holiness.”


Dr. Frances Lucas, president of the college, accepted the statue on behalf of the Millsaps community. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and Millsaps Chaplain Lisa Garvin consecrated the statue in an outdoor ceremony before a large group of alumni and donors.


“Mr. Wesley has never looked better. He looks so fit and excited and engaged with a book bag at his feet and books in his hand. John Wesley was a campus minister first of all. The Methodist movement began on a college campus in Oxford many, many years ago,” Ward commented. “Mr. Wesley often said the world is our parish. The actual intent of this sentence often repeated among Methodists is: wherever in the world you are, that is your parish.”


The statue is inscribed with John Wesley’s Rule: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”