Hendrix Receives Largest Outright Gift in College History$15 million Windgate Foundation gift expands campaign to $150 million

Hendrix Receives Largest Outright Gift in College History
$15 million Windgate Foundation gift expands campaign to $150 million

Photo by Mike Kemp

CONWAY, Ark. (November 20, 2020) — Hendrix College has received a $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation, the largest outright gift in Hendrix’s history.

“We are grateful for the support of the Windgate Foundation,” said Hendrix President W. Ellis Arnold III. “More than ever, it is critical that we continue moving forward, to meet today’s challenges and to continue to be a leader in higher education in the future.”

This year, the College surpassed its $110 million campaign goal a year ahead of schedule with $114 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign, which was scheduled to end in 2021, will be expanded to $150 million and will extend to 2023. The campaign now stands at $129 million.

“During this campaign, thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the College, we have strengthened the academic and student life experience with new programs and initiatives,” said Arnold. “We have added new facilities that celebrate the residential experience and support student recruitment, and we have continued to make Hendrix more affordable and accessible for students and families.”

This spring, as part of the campaign expansion, Hendrix will launch a multimillion-dollar Residence Hall Renewal Project, beginning with renovations of Veasey Hall. Fundraising efforts for the project will also support renovations of historic Martin Hall.

In addition, the expanded campaign will seek additional funds for the College’s endowment. $10 million of the Windgate gift will provide endowed scholarships for Hendrix students.

“These priorities – the Residence Hall Renewal Project and increasing the College’s endowment – will support student recruitment and retention,” said Arnold. “They will keep Hendrix accessible and affordable to students and families, and they will ensure that Hendrix remains one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, innovation, and value.”

The expanded Hendrix campaign will be called A Time to Lead: The Campaign for Today and Tomorrow.

“The time for Hendrix to lead is now. We know that many students and families are concerned by the cost of higher education today,” said Arnold. “That is why we recently announced a tuition reset and lowered our tuition by 32% for new students.”

“We also know that our current students’ residential experience at Hendrix was disrupted by COVID-19,” he said. “That is why – in addition to our tuition reset for new students – we developed a tuition-free fifth year program for current students to provide the opportunity to have a complete residential student experience at Hendrix.”

Arnold added that these recent offerings are just two examples of how Hendrix is leading today. “We must continue to lead in quality, innovation, and value,” he said. “The Residence Hall Renewal Project will reinforce the vital role of the residential campus experience at Hendrix and growing our endowment will strengthen the College’s financial position to support students today and tomorrow.”

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.

Ministry Partner “Vanco Faith” Offering One-on-One Help to Set Up Digital Giving

Ministry Partner “Vanco Faith” Offering One-on-One Help to Set Up Digital Giving

vanco logo

Nashville, TN – The GCFA Connectional/External Relations teams are announcing that Vanco has renewed its ministry partnership with GCFA. Vanco, through Vanco Faith, has built new services and enhanced existing tools to help churches, including a free smartphone app. By putting the time and investment in advanced eGiving options, Vanco can work with churches to find eGiving plans that fit the individual church’s needs. Vanco can offer churches giving tools that help track donations, keep members connected, and provide different giving platforms for ministry supporters.

GCFA has had a vetted relationship with Vanco for nearly 20 years. In this timespan, more than 3,000 United Methodist churches and ministries have used the giving platforms that have grown from “how to receive checks” to the latest electronic giving platforms. The Vanco giving platforms integrate with multiple church management software providers so churches are not required to change software. Vanco is committed to making sure each church that partners with Vanco is set up for success as they utilize online giving.

All UMC churches that sign up with Vanco by November 30 will receive personalized one-on-one onboarding with a Vanco eGiving specialist, an offer valued at $500. Click here to visit the site designed for United Methodist churches and learn more. The dedicated implementation specialist will assist the church through three one-to-one training sessions to personalize the church’s online giving page that will focus on highlighting church missions, create communication to share with members using customizable marketing materials, and more.

“Vanco is very excited again to partner with GCFA. We’ve enjoyed this partnership for many years as we achieve our aim of helping those who enrich their communities. UMC churches do amazing work during difficult periods, and they are continuing that work in new and innovative ways to support their community. Vanco is happy to introduce new tools, including our church community smartphone app, to United Methodist churches. Our online giving tools help UMC churches thrive financially and succeed in their ministries – whether congregations gather in person or virtually,” said Shawn Boom, CEO of Vanco.

For more information on the Ministry Partner program, contact Kellie Schmeal at connetionalrelations@gcfa.org, or 615-369-2408.

Statement on Voting from Bishop Gary Mueller

Statement on Voting from Bishop Gary Mueller

October 9, 2020

I turned 18 in November 1971 while living in Pittsburg, Kansas. I immediately did two things. I registered for the draft, which was mandatory. I also registered to vote, which was not. By the spring of 1972, I was voting for the first time and also serving as a poll worker for the primary election.

I share this to illustrate my deep level of commitment to our American democracy and the right and responsibility of all people to participate in the election of our leaders. But this wonderful gift can only work if it works for all of us, whether we are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or members of some other political party. 

First, it is the duty of our government to make it as easy as possible for every citizen – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or creed – to vote, and to ensure that no individual or representative of government attempts to deny anyone this right. I want to state in the strongest possible terms that this is especially important in light of the fact that too many times this fundamental American right has not been available to Black citizens.

Second, you should exercise your right to vote because it is a gift and a privilege. Study the issues, get to know the candidates and let your vote be an expression of your faith commitment. 

Paragraph 164 of The 2016 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church address both of these aspects of voting:  

¶164 A) Basic Freedoms and Human Rights – The form and the leaders of all governments should be determined by exercise of the right to vote guaranteed to all adult citizens.  

¶164 B) Political Responsibility: The strength of a political system depends upon the full and willing participation of its citizens. The church should continually exert a strong ethical influence upon the state, supporting policies and programs deemed to be just and opposing policies and programs that are unjust.

While I assume you have all the information you need to exercise your right to vote, I want to share with you basic election information for Arkansas. 

Polling places:

Arkansas voting rules:

Elections always seem to become highly charged, but this year’s threatens to become more so because our nation is so divided. This is why I think there is great wisdom in what John Wesley wrote in his journal on October 6, 1774 about his ‘rules’ for voting:

I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them,

  • To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worth.
  • To speak no evil of the person they voted against.
  • To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.

Please join me in praying for our nation as we vote between now and November 3.  

Grace and peace,




Gary E. Mueller

Extending Permission to Use UMPH Resources for Online Worship through December 31, 2020

Nashville, September 2020 – The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is extending full permission to all churches for use of UMPH copyrighted worship materials through December 2020. UMPH recognizes the need for easy access to key worship aids as the COVID-19 crisis persists and local churches strive to serve their communities.

The copyright page in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship grants permission as follows:

“United Methodist congregations may reproduce for worship or educational purposes any item from The United Methodist Book of Worship for one-time use, as in a bulletin, special program, or lesson resource, provided that the copyright notice and acknowledgment is included in the reproduction.”

Each worship service is a one-time use. Therefore, churches are free to reproduce the liturgical text as needed (with the obvious exception of the copyrighted service music on pages 173-223). Further, during the COVID-19 crisis, UMPH is waiving the need to ask permission to livestream and/or record worship services which read, perform, or display liturgical text from the UM Book of Worship. UMPH encourages churches to utilize streaming licenses from OneLicense or CCLI to stream copyrighted service music.

No additional permission is required for any United Methodist congregation to reproduce the liturgical text in the context of an online or physically gathered worship service or, during the COVID-19 crisis, to livestream worship services and/or record and post them on a private site during this period.

This permission does not extend to events other than worship services or events where admission is charged or registration fees are collected or copies are duplicated in a resource for sale.

When quotations from the Common English Bible (CEB) are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies, or similar media (which includes one-time use during live audio or video streaming), the initials (CEB) may be used at the end of each quotation.

The CEB text may be quoted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor account for twenty-five percent (25%) of the written text of the total work or live event in which they are quoted.

“The preface of the Book of Worship entreats, ‘May God’s grace be with all who use this book,’” said Rev. Brian Milford, President & Publisher. “As we gather online for encouragement and worship while physically separated, the Publishing House wants every congregation to know that they are authorized to use this treasure trove of resources.”


United Methodists Set to Unveil “Dismantling Racism” Initiative

United Methodists Set to Unveil “Dismantling Racism” Initiative

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information

June 16, 2020

Nashville, Tennessee: United Methodist Church leaders will launch a plan of action to galvanize church members and others to actively stand against racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd and protests across the U.S.

The “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative is a multi-level effort throughout the church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice. The church-wide effort will kick off on June 19, 2020, to coincide with Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. An announcement from members of the United Methodist Council of Bishops will be broadcast at 11:00 am CT on UMC.org/EndRacism and Facebook.

Participating in the event will be Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Episcopal Area, president of the Council of Bishops and the first Hispanic woman to hold that post, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area, Bishop Bruce Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area, Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Ohio West Episcopal Area, and Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the New York Episcopal Area.

“Words are great, words are important – but action is really important,” said Bishop Harvey. “Pick up your pen, pick up your voice, pick up your feet, and do something.”

A day of prayer and worship will follow on June 24, 2020, with an online service to be broadcast at noon CT on UMC.org/EndRacism and Facebook. There will also be a denominational virtual town hall event on July 1.

Regional and local worship events and town hall meetings involving community partners will subsequently take place, either online or in keeping with social distancing protocols.

United Methodist Communications has launched a national advertising campaign on social media and news websites across the U.S., as well as digital billboards in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, and Louisville. The ads direct viewers to a website, UMC.org/EndRacism, where they can find resources to help them learn more and take action.

The United Methodist Council of Bishops has asked all United Methodists to join in prayer at 8:46 a.m. and p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time the officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck, for at least the next 30 days.

Advocacy and worship resources will seek to equip leaders, members, and the public to join in this important racial relations work. To encourage wide participation, a variety of materials will be made available in English, Korean, Spanish, French, and Portuguese translations.

The denomination has a long-standing history of advocating for justice. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church recognize racism as a sin and commit to challenging unjust systems of power and access. Additional information and resources are available online at UMC.org/EndRacism.


About The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church has more than 13 million members globally in 45,000+ local churches and is in mission in more than 136 countries. Our mission is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our tagline “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” embraces who we are and how we seek to put our faith in action. Learn more at UMC.org.

Media contact:
Diane Degnan presscenter@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (o) 615.483.1765 (c)