Methodist University has been and continues to be a major part of our lives and is deeply rooted in our collective consciousness. The inappropriate and reprehensible racist action in one of its sororities has shaken all of us.
Our immediate prayers go out first to the student-athletes who have been harmed and the entire African American student body. Secondly, we pray for the student responsible for this action. We pray that this incident will serve as a foundational and transformational moment in their life that makes them sensitive to the reality of how our words and actions can cause so much harm and hurt to so many people.
I have and will continue to be in conversation with Methodist University President Dr. Stanley Wearden. I came away from our conversation impressed with the swift actions taken by the University and its Board of Trustees, as well as a deep appreciation for Dr. Wearden’s leadership. I could feel the pain, grief, and hurt in his heart for the Methodist University family and everyone involved.
These events at Methodist University remind each of us how vitally important our work around Anti-Racism is and how the time is now to step up those efforts. I invite you to visit our Anti-Racism page on our website to learn how you can join the NC Conference efforts against racism. You’ll also find resources available for individual or group study.
I thank the Methodist University family for their strategy going forward and pray for the hard work ahead of them.
I asked Dr. Wearden how we as an Annual Conference could be most helpful. He asked that we direct our frustrations toward constructive engagement. That engagement could include local Anti-Racism work, community-building activities, and self-reflection about our own biases, so we put our words and grief into action, helping address root causes of racism and discrimination in all forms.
Please join me in continued prayers for the Methodist University family.
Bishop Leonard E. Fairley