The Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (BHECM) of the Florida Conference voted at its regularly scheduled meeting last Friday to close the FAMU Wesley Foundation at the end of the fall semester.
"We appreciate the dedication and service of Tara Seabrook in leading FAMU Wesley over the past few years," said Dr. Bob Gibbs, Chairperson of BHECM. "She took on a difficult assignment and gave it her best." Gibbs said that despite the time, energy and resources poured into the campus ministry, it became increasingly clear that the current model for ministry at FAMU was not bearing fruit. The goal last year was to reach at least 25 students, but even after extensive training and a HBCU Ministry Summit at FAMU this past summer, fewer than 10 students are actively involved.
BHECM members expressed their unequivocal commitment to seeing an effective United Methodist presence at FAMU in the future, and decided the wisest course of action is to take a step back, use the time to reassess the campus and effective approaches to campus ministries at HBCUs, and re-engage in a new effort. "BHECM envisions a redevelopment process that will involve consultation and assessment, the discernment of a new vision for campus ministry at FAMU, the formation of a new board, and the search for a campus minister, with a new ministry to be launched no later than 2015" said the Rev. David Fuquay, Interim Executive Director of BHECM. He added that each step of the process will involve a wide circle of key conference leaders and members of the FAMU administration.
The value of all the current assets of the FAMU Wesley will be reserved exclusively for the future ministry on that campus. The current director will receive severance and out-placement services offered by the Florida Conference. The FAMU Wesley Board and Conference Staff will be responsible for communicating with current students, administrators and staff and overseeing the temporary dissolution of the campus ministry.
Questions or concerns may be directed to Rev. David Fuquay, Interim Executive Director of BHECM (firstname.lastname@example.org).