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FAREWELL TO THE AUSTIN PEAY WESLEY FOUNDATION BUILDING, HELLO TO A CONTINUING MINISTRY!
APSU Wesley Foundation Building
On May 20, 2018, current students, alumni, parents, and staff past and present gathered at the Austin Peay Wesley Foundation building in Clarksville to celebrate the launch of a new era of ministry. While some might view that day as the closing of a building, in reality, it was so much more. Throughout the history of the Austin Peay Wesley, a strong vision for reaching young people has always led the way. Today, the ministry of Austin Peay Wesley is going strong, growing in impact and in number, growing in diversity of person and calling. The celebration on May 20th generated a new opportunity for the ministry to be more deeply engaged on the Austin Peay campus while also partnering with area churches, especially Madison Street United Methodist Church where the director’s office is now located.
Rev. Katie Woodard, Executive Director and Campus Minister of Austin Peay Wesley said
“As Matthew 28 says, We wanted to “GO” to students and not sit in a building and wait for students to come to us. We have already been meeting on campus for several years because we wanted to reach students who may not feel comfortable walking into a building with a cross and flame on it.
We thank Madison Street UMC as well as other churches for their hospitality of space and support. Their donation of space is helping us want to continue to use our resources well. Every dollar that is donated, through apportionments or outside donations, is no longer spent on a building, but on building relationships with students and the students building their relationship with God and their campus community.”
During the celebration, Rev. Mark Forrester was awarded the Francis Asbury Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry. Mark was the campus minister at both Austin Peay and Vanderbilt. Currently, he is the University Chaplain and Director of Religious Life at Vanderbilt University. The Francis Asbury Award recognizes and encourages the support of higher education and collegiate ministries in The United Methodist Church. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the church’s ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference level of the church. The award is named for Bishop Asbury and is based on his admonition to the people called Methodist to erect a school in the vicinity of every church. “We must,” he said, “…give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages.”
Rev. Vin Walkup provided a reflection on the history of the Austin Peay Wesley Foundation. The text of his message makes up the remainder of this article. CLICK HERE TO GO TO ARTICLE