By Tom Scott
The Alexander Christian Foundation seeks to partner with the churches of Indiana to provide scholarships for those preparing for ministry.
“Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” Paul wrote those words to spur on the Corinthians. He wanted them to realize it was their moment to reach people for Christ. There is a real sense of passion in these words from the great evangelist in 2 Corinthians 6:2. He believed at any moment Christ was going to return.
That same message applies to our generation today. With all the unrest around the world, now is the time to reach people for the Lord. This is our moment to spread the gospel message around the world. Paul also said people cannot hear the message unless individuals are sent out. Jesus told us to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the fields.
This is where the Alexander Christian Foundation comes into play.
The Passion and the Possibilities
Alexander Christian Foundation was started in 1963 by Bill Duncan, who had a passion for helping students prepare for the ministry. The foundation still has that same passion. On July 29, 1964, the first scholarship was awarded; since then more than 760 individuals have received scholarships to attend one of our Christian institutions of higher learning.
Each May a banquet is held to award scholarships to deserving individuals who sense a call of God on their lives. It is exciting to think about the possibilities with each scholarship handed out.
Last year the board of directors talked about how the Restoration Revolution would affect us as an organization. Part of Restoration Revolution calls for 10,000 new servants over the course of the next 10 years. If each local congregation in the United States prepared two individuals for the ministry, the goal could be reached.
There are more than 500 Christian churches in Indiana. That translates into 1,000 new workers from our state alone over the course of the next decade. The ACF wants to partner with Indiana churches in accomplishing this goal.
In November we asked: “What can we do to help prepare the next generation of ministers and missionaries?” One suggestion was to get the word out about the work of Alexander Christian Foundation. It is vital to encourage Indiana churches to partner with us in the creation of scholarships and endowments that will help students pursuing a Christian college education. Those preparing for ministry should not be strapped with a huge financial burden. Because of the generosity of donors to ACF, we are working together to offer a solution to this problem.
Paul charged Timothy with instructing those who were wealthy to be rich toward God. One way to do this is by helping others who desire to serve the Lord. Scholarships from ACF help prepare the next generation of ministers and missionaries. Who knows how God will use them? An ACF scholarship, made possible by gifts to the foundation, could bring about a revival in China, plant a church in Boston, or eternally change the life of a young man from Indiana. An ACF scholarship recipient might preach to thousands here in the United States or lead one soul to Christ in Asia.
The Past and the Future Opportunities
I received a scholarship from ACF nearly 20 years ago. Little did I know I would one day be asked to serve on the board of directors. At the time I was just thankful for the gift as it helped pay my way at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, Tennessee. The first 18 years of ministry have been good, and now God has given me an opportunity to help the next generation prepare for the ministry. It is such a blessing to see how God works in our lives. That is why I am so passionate about this ministry. I realize what one small gift can mean to the kingdom of God. Someone donated the money that provided my scholarship. Our family may not know that individual’s name, but God does. That gift is still impacting the kingdom of God.
Someone’s gift also helped David Legg attend Johnson Bible College. Looking back on that ACF scholarship, he says, “The gift was huge at the time; it was an investment that helped me to be able to graduate from college with minimum financial debt.” Legg now serves as dean of student services at Johnson. For some students, he said, an ACF scholarship is the difference between attending or not attending college. “There needs to be a sense of urgency within the church to invest in those preparing for the ministry,” he said, noting that any size investment has the potential of having a huge impact within the kingdom of God.
The ACF scholarship Courtney Bullington received helped her focus on her classwork at Lincoln (Illinois) Christian University. “Anytime you can give a little assistance with financial help, it reduces stress for those going into the ministry.” Courtney believes it is important for churches to help people going into the ministry so they can graduate with minimum financial debt. Courtney’s mother also believes it is important for churches and individuals to help those pursuing a ministry. Courtney’s family continues to support ACF because they want to pass the blessing on to others.
To learn more about ACF, go to www.acfindiana.org or call (317) 467-1223.
Tom Scott serves in ministry with Cumberland Christian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, and as president of Alexander Christian Foundation.