William Carey University

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

It has been a delightful experience to re-connect with William Carey University and friends in South Mississippi through teaching a missions course on Tuesday nights this spring. Founded in 1906 as Mississippi Women’s College, it became co-educational in 1954 as did Blue Mountain, Mississippi Baptist’s other women’s college in North Mississippi. Women’s College kept its initials in adopting the name William Carey as well as intentionally reflecting its strong commitment to missions.

Although a liberal arts university with diverse programs, WCU has always had a reputation for ministerial training and missions involvement. Over the years it has attracted large numbers of missionary kids and international students. It is one of the few Baptist Colleges that offers a broad curriculum in missions and is currently moving to develop a major that will be linked with the IMB which will include involvement of students in missionary service overseas.

The theme of the University is “Transformed by the renewing of your mind,” from Romans 12:2 to emphasize its focus on quality education for leadership and Christian service. More than 3200 students are enrolled on its 240 acre campus in Hattiesburg and at a branch campus on the coast in Biloxi and a nursing school in New Orleans.

This statue of William Carey, considered the father of modern missions, is in front of the Carey Center where I am teaching an interactive course for area pastors on Wednesday mornings on “Impact Your World”–mobilizing churches for missions. It has been a joy to renew fellowship with Dr. Tommy King, president of WCU. He and I were friends in college and later exchanged pulpits for revivals. He preached for me at my pastorates in Clay County and later in Sadler, Texas, and I preached revivals for him at churches in South Mississippi before departing for the mission field years ago.

We are pictured having lunch at the historic Purple Parrot restaurant. Recently Dr. King and his wife, Sandy, hosted us for lunch in nearby Columbia with a group of former IMB missionaries now living in the area. It was a joy to see Betty Hart and Vic and Marlene Bowman who served in Chile, Vic and Sharon Johnson from Brazil, Kevin and Pam Shearer from Peru, Tom and Gloria Thurman from Bangladesh, and Roger and Evelyn Swan from Tanzania. These occasions of fellowship and opportunity to contribute to the university have made the 95-mile weekly drive to Hattiesburg well worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

More News