On Giving Tuesday Bethel Neighborhood Center held a victory celebration and thank-you reception at Central Seminary. Almost 80 were in attendance to celebrate Bethel reaching its capital campaign goal of $2 Million for renovations and new construction on its Kansas City, Kansas, campus. Bethel invited all who donated to their campaign and recognized the hard work of the campaign committee, co-chaired by Central Alum Dr. Robert Southard.
Executive Director Mang Sonna expressed his appreciation to all those who made this celebration possible, including Central:
We are grateful that Central Seminary helped with the final push, a pledge of $85,000, to reach our goal. Central saved us from losing the $250,000 matching grant from the Mabee Foundation. Our goal was to complete our pledges for the campaign by the end of the year, and thanks to Central, we did!!
Central alum and local pastor of First Baptist, Turner, Kansas, Steve Neal, said:
I have come to see my time at Central Seminary as a time of grace and Central as a place of grace, even moreso under the leadership of President Molly T. Marshall. Her recent request at the Central Region Annual Gathering to re-allot Central Seminary’s 2017 Kansas Foundation funding to Bethel Neighborhood Center is a shining example of such grace.
Mary Etta Copeland, who will join Bethel’s board of directors for 2017, spoke on behalf of American Baptist Women of the Central Region. She recounted the long partnership ABW of CR has had with both Bethel and Central Seminary, having given almost $1 million to each for 4 different projects since their organization began identifying such projects to support. Mrs. Copeland related:
The accomplishment of reaching this goal of $2,000,000 began with ABW of CR [who gave an initial gift of $36,583.89 for a garage] but then concluded with the very generous involvement of Central Seminary. While we celebrate this incredible accomplishment through God’s leading, we need to promote and continue the outreach and ministry to Bethel in whatever way God leads, as well as support to Central Seminary.
Mrs. Copeland presented Executive Director Mang Sonna and President Molly T. Marshall with lighthouses to symbolize the theme of the campaign, Magnifying the Light and Hope, with an inscription to depict the bookends of the campaign.