Museum and Research Collection
Center for Study of the Life and Work of
William Carey, D.D. (1761-1834)
Monday – Friday, 1-5 PM
Guided Tours by Request
Acknowledgment of Robert and Linda Donnell
Dedication and Opening of Donnell Hall
May 3, 2006
Bennie R. Crockett, Jr., Co-Director
Center for Study of the Life and Work of William Carey, D.D. (1761-1834)
Today, it is my distinct honor to acknowledge Robert and Linda Donnell. Included in the program is a text celebrating their service to church and community. Key ideas in their identity are: longtime Baptists, participants in missions’ projects, especially Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International, Pine Belt Christian Women’s Job Corps, and Methodist Senior Services. In addition, they are active in University Baptist Church and community helping agencies such as Carey’s board of trustees, Bancorp South Community Advisory Council, the Area Development Partnership, and the Rotary Club. In an admirable way, both Linda and Robert have linked their professional careers with their Christian faith.
As a way of honoring them, let me tell a story. When Myron and I began the Carey Center in the summer of 2000, the Center has continued to exist as a compelling idea. In January 2001, the Center became a virtual reality on the internet, the technological arm that has yielded the collection and the message of this work.
After people saw the web site, they would question, “Where are you? We want to see.” We answered “look on the internet; we have a huge collection, and soon we will have a building to display the collection.” Every time I repeated this I thought of the text “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).
The Donnells’ generous gift has made this beautifully-styled Serampore, India, building come into reality. As a result, this College may—as Carey would say—“enlarge the tent” of Christian identity, scholarship, and a Christian missionary understanding of the world.
In our culture of obsessive materialism, the Donnells have stood against conventional selfishness, and their gift forever enshrines the accomplishments of the sacrificial spirit of William Carey and his colleagues at Serampore. The Donnells’ gift highlights the necessary interrelation of William Carey, the Baptist missionary, Bible translator, linguist, social reformer, and scientist in India, with the College’s identity as a Baptist institution of higher learning. The world now has a place to celebrate, study, and find reflective inspiration for a holistic perspective of Christian missions, intellect, and socialization.
So, our faith becomes a physical reality through the wonderful gift by Robert and Linda Donnell. Thank you for your commitment to the world vision of our namesake, William Carey of Paulerspury, England, and Serampore, India.
Today, the eternal “words become flesh again and dwell among us” (John 1:14).
For the large part that Robert and Linda Donnell have in the telling of Carey’s remarkable life and story, the Carey Center is grateful and anxious to share the ideals of its namesake.
Carey Center Home Page
Created: May 19, 2006 Updated: June 12, 2006