CENTRAL – The Division of Religion at Southern Wesleyan University is moving closer to its goal of a new home, thanks to the completion of the $1.4 million Nicholson-Mitchell Christian Ministry Center campaign.
University President Todd Voss said the goal covers Southern Wesleyan’s purchase of the former ALIVE Wesleyan Church facility and property and also renovations. ALIVE Church moved in 2013 to a new facility approximately a mile from the Central campus.
“What’s happening now is we have construction documents; they are about 80 percent complete,” Voss said. The university closed on the church property in April.
Committee members are Ray Barnwell, Bob Black, Joy Bryant, James Capps, Mary Costello, Mari Gonlag, Glenda Hoyle, JoAnn Lyon, Don Milstead, Marlin Mull, Tony Payne, Amy Reese, Robert McIntyre, Lisa McWherter, Buddy Rampey, Dan Seaborn, Todd Voss, Jim Wiggins, Paul Wood, and Earl Wilson, honorary member.
The Nicholson-Mitchell Center is named for Drs. Roy Nicholson and Virgil Mitchell, revered as “giants” of the Wesleyan faith. Nicholson came to SWU in 1918, when it was known as Wesleyan Methodist College, to study for the ministry.
For the next 75 years, he rose through church leadership to become the first and only full-time president of the Wesleyan Methodist Church where, in a dozen years, he literally made today’s Wesleyan Church possible. Mitchell was the beneficiary of a federal work-study program at Wesleyan Methodist College, where he married Mary, his college sweetheart, served as pastor and teacher, and nearly became college president when The Wesleyan Church re-elected him as general superintendent.