After a long renovation, the newly-christened Fannin Ministry Center officially opened its doors on Feb. 15.
A luncheon was held in Jenkins Field House to celebrate. Trustees, donors, former students, representatives from First United Methodist Church and “friends of the college,” as Dr. Anne Kerr, Florida Southern College’s president said, were in attendance.
“This has been underway for over a year, and we worked very hard and planned to renovate this campus ministry center, because 30 percent of the Florida Southern students are involved in one of the nine student-led ministries or some other form of activities or involvement with the student ministries program,” Kerr said.
The ceremony consisted of prayers, psalms, hymns and remarks from students, delivered by Student Government Association President Ashley Gibson. Bishops Kenneth Carter and Richard Wills delivered the prayers along with FSC’s chaplain, Reverend Tim Wright.
The Fannin Ministry Center was named after Bishop Robert Fannin and Faye Fannin. During the ceremony Bishop Fannin rose and spoke to the assembled crowd.
Bishop Fannin said that the center was “wonderful.”
“The greatest compliment I’ve had is that a number of students have come forth and said ‘You know: this is our second home.’ We’re so proud to be here and so thankful for this center,” Bishop Fannin said.
Originally the event had been planned to take place outdoors in the courtyard of the Fannin Ministry Center. However, the morning of the 15th was too cold for the ceremony, and clouds threatened rain. The event was then moved inside Jenkins Field House where the ribbon was cut.
“Aside from the fact that we had to move it out of the courtyard and into the building, I was really pleased,” Wright said. “It was nice to see so many friends of the college from many, many years passed that came to be associated with the dedication.”
Later the skies cleared, and the different guests left the luncheon to explore the new building. It is hoped that the expanded building will help student ministries in their different missions.
“It is so important for students to have a great place to hang out and meet together, do whatever it is that they enjoy doing, as they think about the development of their faith through the years. So I am very excited about this,” Kerr said.
Wright and the Assistant Chaplain, Adrienne Kneebone, were both excited about moving into the building and their new offices.
“It’s been a long time coming. The old building was falling apart around us, but this will give us ample space to provide students a wonderful place to continue what they’ve been doing for many years,” Wright said.
Bishop Fannin and Faye Fannin gathered with their family members to pose for a picture in front of the renovated building.
“I think it’s great because it’s a total understanding of ministries, in terms of reaching out to the needy, and reaching out to the charitable organizations, plus studying scripture and having fellowship together, the connection, the community. That’s what we want to build: the community,” Bishop Fannin said.