An Offering to Support Bennett College

January 25, 2019

Dear Friends of the Western North Carolina Conference:
One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution of the United States providing men and women with equal voting rights.  This amendment was the fruit of the women’s suffrage movement started in the 1848.  
Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, one of our United Methodist-Related Historically Black Colleges, has served for more than 100 years as a college for women of color within the bounds of our Western North Carolina Conference.  Due to severe financial difficulties, Bennett College is in danger of losing its accreditation.  Presently, the Board of Trustees are working to assure a sustainable plan for Bennett’s future, and they need our continued financial support in order to fulfill this plan.
The college has been working with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) as well as with additional consultants to assist them during this difficult time.  The Western North Carolina Conference invited Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, President of Bennett College, to speak to last year’s annual conference, received a special offering at annual conference, and has held conference meetings on their campus to raise awareness of the college.  The denomination continues to support Bennett College through GBHEM and the Black College Fund.  We are grateful for all these efforts.
Due to the severity and timing of this crisis, I would like to invite Western North Carolina United Methodists to celebrate the 100 years of Women’s Suffrage and the passing of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution by receiving a second mile offering for Bennett College. I ask that by February 11, individuals and local churches send this offering of gratitude and hope to the WNCC Treasurer, designated for “Bennett College.” In doing so, you will join others in offering support and aid to this college which has committed itself to a vision of producing phenomenal women scholars and global leaders.
In a recent meeting, Dr. Dawkins expressed her sincere gratitude for the support of our United Methodist Church, for our Western North Carolina Conference, and for the privilege of serving one of our United Methodist-Related Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  
Thank you in advance for your generosity for Bennett College at this time.
With gratitude for our shared ministry,
Paul Leeland