Community Unites to Build VSU Discipleship House

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The new Wesley Foundation Discipleship House gracing Valdosta State University’s campus is more than a red-brick building that 12 students call home. It is a testament to what can happen when a community unites to fulfill God’s vision.

“The VSU Wesley Foundation is an evangelical agency of The South Georgia Conference. We exist as an outpost of The United Methodist Church in a very secular yet fertile environment,” said Rev. C.J. Harp, VSU Wesley Foundation Executive Director and Campus Minister. “Everything we do as a campus ministry is centered on helping college students come to know Jesus and walk like Jesus in the world.”

In 2011, while Rev. Harp was praying about how the Wesley Foundation might grow a culture of discipleship on VSU’s campus, he received a vision to build a house for students. Thanks to generous in-kind donations, contributions from United Methodist churches, and a loan from the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, this dream became a reality in 2015.

“The beauty behind building the Discipleship House is that it fosters a culture of discipleship in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings,” said Rev. Harp. “Even more, through student rent, the building will generate revenue for disciple makers at VSU for decades to come!”

The Discipleship House is designed with fellowship in mind. It features four three-bedroom apartments, four rooms for leading small groups, and a community room for hosting large gatherings.

When it was time to obtain a loan, the VSU Wesley Foundation turned to GUMF.

“GUMF offered us highly competitive rates with minimal fees. Since many of our donors were coming from within the United Methodist connection, it just made sense to work with the “home team.” GUMF understands the nature of our ministry and has been great to work with on this project," Rev. Harp said. "As a ministry-minded entity, GUMF simplified the process for us. Working with them was a no-brainer, and I highly recommend GUMF to other churches and ministries.”

This article was originally published in the Winter 2016 edition of Faith & Money, a publication of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.