William Carey University is currently celebrating the 250th birthday of William Carey, the “Father of Modern Missions” and namesake of the institution, with a variety of events, including an International Missionary Appointment Service, a missionary address by president of the International Mission Board (IMB), and a dedication of a statue of William Carey.
The IMB International Missionary Appointment Service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, at Temple Baptist Church on Old Highway 11. The commissioning service for 77 newly-appointed missionaries will include music by the WCU chorale and Temple Baptist celebration choir, a dramatic presentation by the WCU Serampore Players theatre group, and testimonials from those who have served around the world.
The seven foot bronze statue of William Carey titled “Carey Turns to the World” will be dedicated at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, November 17. The 600-pound figure, crafted by Ben Watts of Columbia, stands in front of the Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art on the Hattiesburg campus. The statue depicts Carey rising from his cobbler’s bench. The laying of his cobbler’s apron indicates that he abandons his tools and old life and turns to the mission work in India to which he is called. He is clutches his Bible and gazes into his future.
Following the statue dedication ceremony, Dr. Thomas Elliff, president of the IMB of the Southern Baptist Convention, will serve as chapel speaker in Smith Auditorium at 9: 15 a.m. Dr. Elliff is a third generation Southern Baptist preacher who has pastored in Oklahoma and Colorado, and served in Zimbabwe with the SBC Foreign Mission Board. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he is the author of 12 books and the founder of a writing and speaking ministry called Living in the Word Publications. He and his wife Jeannie have four children and 25 grandchildren.
The public is invited to attend all of these events.