It was a great day at North Greenville University on Thursday, April 26. In the midst of a downpour, university administration gathered with a large group of benefactors, board members, faculty, staff, and students to celebrate the completion of many campus improvements, and to dedicate them to the service of God and His Gospel.
These many additions and improvements to the NGU campus were made possible through the generosity of many who love and support NGU and its mission, and through the guidance and grace of Jesus Christ Our Lord, whom we serve. It was a time to glorify God and all that God has achieved and will achieve through this place, where Christ Makes the Difference.
“Evident to us today are the beautiful landscaping, buildings, and all things we see with our eyes,” said Dr. Allen McWhite, Director for Global Missions at the ceremony, “but what is most evident is God. He is the most obvious here today. No flower, building, chair can proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been placed here to do that.”
The Craft/Hemphill Center for Evangelism, Missions, and Christian Worldview is one of the facilities dedicated to the Glory of God. It has over 12,000 square feet of floor space, and houses the Global Missions, Christian Worldview, and Church Revitalization programs. The building is named for the late Ira Craft and his wife Betty Jo Craft from Columbia and Ken and Paula Hemphill from Travelers Rest. Dick and Wilma Smith also from Columbia gave in honor of the Crafts. The Center’s first floor offices and classrooms are named in their honor. Mrs. Nancy Hoy of Virginia Beach, VA gave a lead gift to honor Ken and Paula Hemphill. Hemphill, who is NGU’s founding Director of the Church Planting and Revitalization Center, was Hoy’s pastor for many years.
Dan Adams from Greenville gave the technology for the Mission Control Center to honor his parents with the naming of The William C. “Bill” and Shirley H. Adams Lobby.
The gift for the Dr. James B. Epting and Dr. Gerald B. Roe World Mission Control Center was given by Mac Snyder of Greenville. This Control Center will allow students and churches to communicate with missionaries already serving on the mission fields.
Two large stained glass windows that Greenville area stained glass artist Lou Ellen Beckham-Davis created have been installed in the Craft/Hemphill Center and the Todd Prayer chapel.
Kristina Hemphill Bousch, daughter of Ken and Paula Hemphill, designed the Craft-Hemphill Center’s window, which has been installed in the center of the tall glass façade. It is a total of 29 panels with a surface area of approximately 200 square feet.
The Todd Prayer Chapel has been named in honor of Elton and Doris Todd from Greer. The Todds have been longstanding supporters of NGU and have been major contributors to NGU’s economic development. The prayer benches, crafted by the Greenville Woodworkers Guild, were provided by Dr. and Mrs. Joe F. Hayes, Sr. from Travelers Rest in honor of their son, Rev. Joe F. Hayes, Jr. and NGU’s Executive Director for Development.
The Great Commission sculpture which sits in front of the Craft-Hemphill Center symbolically unites the Word, the World and the Rock in a design which communicates World Evangelism, and the importance of the Bible. Scriptures featured on the sculpture (Matthew 28:19-20) communicate the essence of the Gospel, Christ’s invitation and His command to all believers to go and make disciples. This sculpture made possible by Chip and Margaret Sloan through the estate of James Carlisle
Other facilities dedicated Thursday were the Barbara McCormick House which sits adjacent to the campus to house campus visitors. It was named in honor of Dr. Barbara McCormick, a 1955 alumna. Another is the Willard and Barbara Wade Duplexes. One duplex on Blackwell Road houses 14 male students and the other on Chinquapin Road is not currently occupied. These were donated by the Wades from Greenville.
The Tigerville Baptist Church House, the former Tigerville Baptist Church parsonage, houses 15 female residents and sits also on Chinquapin Road.
The R.J. “Fess” and Conya Blackwell House on Chinquapin Road is the former house of the late Fess Blackwell, a beloved professor at North Greenville for many years. This was his home where they raised their sons is now the home for 19 female residents.
A 56 passenger Prevost Bus was donated to the school by Udean and Nancy Burke, owners of Christian Tours in Maiden, NC. The bus decals donated by Admark Graphic Systems of Charlotte, NC.
Many trees and shrubs around the campus have been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hawkins of Marietta and Hawkins Nursery. Also a rose garden with over 220 Hybrid Tea roses is being constructed and is made possible by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Joe F. Hayes, Sr. in honor of their son.
“We dedicate ourselves and these things for His cause to carry out the Gospel to the ends of the earth,” said Dr. Tony Beam, Vice President for Christian Worldview. “We must dedicate ourselves before we can dedicate these things.”