NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Mayor Karl Dean, accompanied by several state and local elected officials, joined the clergy and other religious and community leaders on Wednesday in an interfaith prayer service for Tennessee State University and President Glenda Baskin Glover.
Called the Annual Presidential Prayer Service, initiated with the arrival of Dr. Glover following her selection as president of TSU in 2013, the nearly two-hour-long program also recognized improvements and achievements under her watch, as well as hailed the community partnerships formed in just her first year at the University.
Participants in the packed sanctuary of the Jefferson Street Baptist Church, representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith-based communities, joined hands in songs and prayers for students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators of the University.
Led by the Reverend Henry Baskin, of Middle Baptist Church of Memphis, Dr. Glover’s brother, whom she referred to as her “spiritual leader,” the congregation surrounded the President in a special prayer for God’s guidance, her well-being and leadership of TSU.
In remarks earlier, Mayor Dean hailed the importance of the faith community for their spiritual insight and the role they play in the development of the city and improvement in the lives of the people.
“The faith community has made a big difference in enriching the lives of our people,” the mayor said. “They are a big part of our community, reaching out in all areas of our lives. Their coming here today is a clear indication of their partnership, support and the importance they attached to this great institution and its leadership under Dr. Glover.
“We genuinely and sincerely pray for your success and the success of Tennessee State University,” the mayor added, referring to President Glover. “As I said before, TSU is our university. We are committed to our partnership with this great university and that has not changed. You have our thoughts, continued dedication and collaboration with our city.”
In a statement of appreciation, Dr. Glover thanked the officials and the faith community for their prayers and show of support for TSU.
Saying “the best is yet to come,” the President told the religious leaders and the faith community that although there are challenges ahead, their prayers and support “reaffirm and remind us” that God is in control.
“God expects you to partner with the community. We need this partnership to continue and for you to step up to be the leaders and community God wants you to be.”
She recounted achievements in her first year, making specific references to the increase in alumni participation and financial support to the University, as well as the “overwhelming” corporate, community, alumni and student response to her SOS sent out last semester that saved 350 from being purged. In just six days, the University raised $483,000, enough to cover the expense of majority of the students, while others who qualified, made payment arrangements for their balances.
“No student will be turned away at Tennessee State University because of the lack of resources,” Dr. Glover said to thunderous applause from more than two hundred faculty, staff, alumni, business and community leaders at a press conference in the atrium of the Avon Williams campus on Sept. 10.
“God has been good to TSU,” Dr. Glover said at the prayer service, calling on students to remain hopeful and put their trust in God to “open the right doors” for them. “Don’t be discouraged because your hopes are not accomplished immediately; God sees all things and He knows your circumstances.”
To the faculty and staff she said: “You are doing things that God has prepared you for. God will promote you in front of those who oppose you in your work.”
Among others making remarks at the service were State Rep. Harold Moses Love Jr. (58th District-D), who is also pastor of St. Paul’s AME Church; Dr. Ray Richardson, TSU professor, representing Corinthian Baptist Church; Yuri Cunza, president of the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Judy Cummings, president of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship and pastor of New Covenant Christian Church; Minister Majid Muhammed, of Muhammed’s Mosque #60, Nation of Islam; and Rabbi Saul Strosberg, of the Congregation Sherith Israel.
Also giving remarks were: Devonte Johnson, president of the TSU Student Government Association; the Reverend Roderick Belin, pastor of Lee Chapel AME Church; Reverend Reginald Brock, pastor of St. Matthews AME Church; Reverend Frank D. Stevenson, senior pastor of St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church; Reverend Christopher Jackson, pastor of Pleasant Green Baptist Church; Reverend Jimmy Greer, pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church; Reverend Ronald Powe, pastor of St. Luke CME Church; and Reverend Enoch Fuzz, pastor of Corinthian Baptist Church.
The Reverend Darrell A. Drumwright, senior pastor of the Temple Church, presided at the prayer service.
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