Bethany Theological Seminary officially launched its Bethany BOLD program with a day of service on Monday, October 9, 2023, at the Townsend Community Center in Richmond. Employees and students worked together to spruce up the playground area at the Center, which primarily serves the African-American community in Richmond.
A group of 18 students, faculty, and staff gathered at the Center to pull weeds, trim trees, and clean playground equipment. After the work was done, the Bethany group had lunch, hearing remarks from Dr. Lucinda Wright, president of the organization’s board of directors.
Townsend Community Center was founded in 1921 to serve the African-American community, and is the oldest community center in Wayne County, Indiana. The organization sponsors programs focused on youth, women’s empowerment, drug abuse prevention, and financial literacy.
“We are grateful to Townsend Community Center for their service to the community, and for their partnership with the Seminary,” says Bethany President Jeff Carter. “As we encourage our students in the BOLD program to address real world challenges, it is a gift to work with local non-profit organizations. The Townsend Center can provide students with experiences, perspectives, and resources that they otherwise might not encounter.”
Bethany BOLD (which stands for Build, Organize, Love, and Dare) serves exceptional students who want to make a positive difference through service while earning a graduate degree. The program, funded by a $1M grant from Lilly Endowment, is focused primarily on issues of racial diversity and poverty in Wayne County. Participants take on meaningful volunteer roles with local non-profit organizations and receive full-tuition scholarships, housing, and a monthly stipend. The program is emblematic of the Seminary’s commitments to racial and economic justice.