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Office of Communications and Marketing

Press Release

Rev. Dr. Jerry Michael Sanders to be the Featured Speaker
at Benedict College
Founder's Day Rally

March 4, 2008

Columbia, SC--March 4, 2008--Rev. Dr. Jerry Michael Sanders, pastor of Fountain Baptist Church in Summit, New Jersey, will be the featured speaker at the Benedict College Founder's Day Rally. The event will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2008 in the Antisdel Chapel on the College's campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Prior to the Rally, an Appreciation Breakfast invitation-only event will be held at 9 a.m. in the David H. Swinton Campus Center.

The Founder's Day Rally is one of the most significant events of the calendar year at Benedict College, as it is the high point of the institution's Annual Fund Campaign. Though it is specifically set aside to honor the College's founder, Mrs. Bathsheba A. Benedict, it is also the day when donors collectively make financial contributions to the institution.  

The observance pays tribute to Benedict's primary benefactor, Mrs. Benedict, a missionary and abolitionist who founded the originally named Benedict Institute in 1870 under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. This historical event will unite people from churches and religious organizations, alumni, and community to show philanthropic support for the institution. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for Benedict to recognize and show appreciation to individuals, churches and organizations that have donated financial, moral, and spiritual support to the institution.

Rev. Dr. Jerry Michael Sanders has been the pastor of Fountain Baptist Church since December of 1983. Prior to this position, he served as Pastor of the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Lake Lure, North Carolina.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Rev. Dr. Sanders earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Benedict and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University School of Divinity in North Carolina. He was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Benedict College, and awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Florida Memorial University.

Rev. Dr. Sanders is a Life Member of the NAACP and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. He is also a member of American Baptist Churches, the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., and the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.

Rev. Dr. Sanders has led Fountain to be a strong supporter of missions. Four hundred thousand dollars has been given to the United Negro College Fund. Fountain gave a grant of thirty thousand dollars to aid churches in Haiti and for the last five years, a minimum of one hundred thousand dollars has been given anually to the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention to assist overseas missions.

Fountain has purchased a three hundred thousand dollar office building in Johannesburg, South Africa. The building was donated to the Baptist Convention of South Africa to serve as National Headquarters for the Convention. In 2006, Fountain made a two year commitment for a one million dollar donation to help with relief efforts in the Gulf Coast; this donation was realized in 2007.

Rev. Dr. Sanders is a member of the Summit Interfaith Clergy Association, former Moderator for the Middlesex Center Baptist Association, and former President of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.

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Contacts:
Kymm Hunter, Communications and Marketing Director; 803.705.4519 hunterk@benedict.edu
Carolyn Wigfall, Communications and Marketing Manager; 803.705.4366 wigfallc@benedict.edu

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