Mount Olive, MS
Leaders of rural, Christian ministries in Mississippi generally do not have the training that could empower them to know where and how to look for grant money and/or compete for grant money if they find it. Also, sometimes, it takes money to look for money, i.e. hiring grant locators and/or writers, being able to afford the time away from other responsibilities or paid employment to search for grant opportunities, etc. Most of the leaders do not have financial resources to enable them to secure grant funding. The desire to serve is there but not the ability.
Our main way of providing a solution to the challenge of resources is through our endowed accounts from which we give grants and scholarships. We award grants at least once a year, usually in the spring, to support new and ongoing programs (General Endowment Fund). We award scholarships to college and boarding high school students every summer (Reginald D. Weary Memorial Scholarship Fund), we award stipends to private Christian school students at a partner school in Simpson County every fall (Dr. Kathryn B. Weathersby Memorial Fund), and we award leadership development scholarships as needed to community leaders (Lois M. Ottaway Memorial Fund) who want to enter programs so they can gain additional leadership training and/or exposure. We also give non-financial resources, as the non-profit ministries have need and we have opportunity to do so, in the form of equipment, supplies, and consultants.
This fund is strictly dedicated to the advancement of rural, Christian ministries in the state of Mississippi. General grants to those ministries are given from this fund.
REAL Christian Foundation established the RDW Fund after REAL Co-Founders Dolphus and Rosie Weary’s son’s untimely death in 2004. As a part of their healing process, they prayerfully considered ways to bless other youth from rural Mississippi. The interest from this fund is used to provide partial scholarships to students in rural Mississippi who are connected to community-based Christian ministries REAL supports. Students can use these scholarships to cover costs associated with attending boarding high schools, colleges or universities, technical schools, and graduate seminaries. The scholarships usually range from $1,000 - $2,000 per student. The RDW Fund was designed to help rural Christian ministries develop leaders. The hope is these leaders would have a heart to come back, give back, or serve back in their communities. As of today, REAL has provided over 50 scholarships to students associated with the rural, community-based Christian ministries supported by REAL.
Dr. Kathryn Black Weathersby was a friend and mentor to Dolphus and Rosie Weary, REAL’s co-founders. On its board since 1970, she had a deep commitment to Genesis One Christian School (GOCS). She was killed in an automobile accident on September 5, 2002, and in honor of her deep commitment, REAL established the KBW Fund to be dedicated to and used by GOCS, an outreach of The Mendenhall Ministries in Mendenhall, Mississippi, to provide partial tuition scholarships for needy students. These grants are generally a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $500 per child. Since the fund has been established, more than 40 students from rural Simpson and surrounding counties in Mississippi have benefited in getting an educational boost in a Christian-based atmosphere.
REAL Co-Founders Dolphus and Rosie Weary knew Lois M. Ottaway personally for over 30 years as a mentor and prayer warrior who had a passion to see African-American Christian leaders succeed. Over the years, along with the Wearys, she encouraged people like Bill Parnell (professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, pastor), John Perkins (American Christian minister, civil rights activist), and the late Tom Skinner (evangelist and activist who once led a street gang in New York). In 2007, Mrs. Ottaway gave REAL a gift of $15,000 to help establish a scholarship fund, which together with an additional monetary gift she bequeathed to REAL after she died in 2013 became a memorial fund in her memory, designated for indigenous leaders affiliated with the community-based Christian ministries REAL supports. Scholarships from this fund give these leaders an opportunity to get greater exposure in ministry and/or training programs outside of their communities.
Cary Christian Center, Cary, MS, Sharkey County
Cross To Kingdom (C2K) Ministries, Inc., Mound Bayou, MS, Bolivar County
Do All Things Children’s Circle, Lexington, MS, Holmes County
Jayess Christian Community Development Association, Tylertown, MS, Walthall County
Jefferson Davis Outreach Ministries, Prentiss, MS, Jefferson Davis County
Lexington Colts Youth Sprots, Inc., Lexington, MS, Holmes County
Lighthouse Community Development, Mendenhall, MS, Simpson County
Mendenhall Ministries (The), Mendenhall, MS, Simpson County
Mount Olive Ministries, Mt. Olive, MS, Covington County
Pioneer Ministries, Inc., Pearl, MS, Rankin County
Quitman County Development Organization, Marks, MS, Quitman County
Wesley Youth Foundation, Tchula, MS, Holmes County
YoungLives of Leflore County, Greenwood, MS, Leflore, County