DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — September 2020
Schools and Colleges Equipping Communities of Color
… For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
— Galatians 3:26
The Office of Schools and Colleges Equipping Communities of Color supports three Presbyterian-related schools and colleges through the Christmas Joy Offering:
• Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas
• Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico
• Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The importance of these schools and colleges is demonstrated in the continuing partnership between the General Assembly of the PC(USA) through Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries and the schools and colleges, whose institutional relationship agreement was approved at the 223rd General Assembly (2018).
Students are educated for the professions of their choice in an environment that supports and nurtures the students’ ethnic heritage.
Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo and his nephew Jasiel Hernandez both attended Presbyterian Pan American School (Pan Am), a secondary school in Kingsville, Texas, though they graduated decades apart. Lemuel is a Mission Engagement Advisor in the Mission Engagement and Support area of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. He is from southern Mexico, and as a high school sophomore, he enrolled in Pam Am in Kingsville partly to escape the scrutiny that comes with being a pastor’s son. He says the space Pan Am gave him helped his faith grow and encouraged him to claim his love for the church.
Jasiel made the trek from southern Mexico to Pan Am 27 years after Lemuel. He grew up hearing stories about Pan Am from Lemuel and his younger brother Joel, an information systems manager and lay pastor in Mexico City. Jasiel and Lemuel both speak highly about Pan Am’s academic preparation, chapel services, Bible study and prayer groups. Jasiel also graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, just as Lemuel did. Jasiel heard his uncles talk about opportunities to excel academically, create community and grow spiritually.
Lemuel says, “I am so proud and joyful that God would call Jasiel into ministry.”
“My family is from humble origins, so money was tight,” Jasiel says. “Scholarships made it possible for me to go to Pan Am.”
Be the change!
Donate to the Christmas Joy Offering. Presbyterian Pan American School, Menaul School and Stillman College, three Historically Presbyterian Institutions Equipping Communities of Color, receive financial support through the offering.