This week I had the opportunity to visit my alma mater, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University‘s Atlanta campus for a guest lecture and a meeting of the alumni board. As I walked across campus, I realized that 15 years ago this month I had just begun my second semester of seminary at McAfee!

At the alumni board meeting, interim dean Dr. Greg Deloach mentioned that approximately 60 churches include McAfee in their budget. I am thankful that First Baptist Church of Pendleton is counted among those churches.

Last Sunday at FBCP, we participated in the SOUPer Bowl of Caring and collected over $300 for Clemson Community Care. In addition, we brought non-perishable donations to help those in need in our community. These special offerings are important in emphasizing mission giving, but it is important to remember that every time you give to FBC Pendleton, you are giving to missions, to causes that help meet needs and make disciples! A portion of all contributions to our general budget go to our mission partners. One of these mission partners is McAfee School of Theology.

In Matthew 28:19-20 (also known as the Great Commission), Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Supporting quality theological education through our church’s mission budget is one way we support the making of disciples. We are investing in the discipleship of students who may one day become our pastors, our hospice chaplains, our non-profit directors. We are investing in the future of the church and the future of the kingdom of God.

Visiting McAfee this week was not just a walk down the proverbial memory lane, but it was a reminder of what an important role McAfee played in my life, both as a follower of Jesus and as a minister of the Gospel. I am thankful to serve at a church that values theological education. Thank you, FBCP for your extravagant generosity and your faithful discipleship!

— Pastor Jennifer Rygg