November 20, 2020 – Arkansas Baptist College (ABC) has received a $150,000.00 donation from Second Baptist Church. Arkansas Baptist College and the Second Baptist Church of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas have partnered to assist current and former business students of ABC who are interested in starting their own business. Both, former Interim President, Dr. Regina Favors and Senior Pastor, Preston Clegg are pleased to have partnered in this effort and assisted in the creation of this innovative program.
Pastor Clegg described the purpose of the generous gift, “The intent of the gift is to support opportunities for ABC Business students, especially those interested in starting their own businesses. We wanted to partner with the College and the community to create a plan to best honor that wish.”
Roberta Clark, Chair, Department of Business Administration stated, “After a couple of meetings with members of Second Baptist Church, ABC leadership, and members of the business community, the idea of micro loans from this fund rose to the top of the list. Too many dreams are stopped before they even get started, when all they need is a little push. This gift will be that push!”
As former president and alumna, Mrs. Favors expressed her gratitude by saying, “The students, faculty, and staff are grateful for this show of faith. What has resulted is an innovative program that sets ABC apart.”
Interested ABC business students and recent alumni will take part in a competitive process and pitch their ideas to a select committee. The committee will award micro loans based on the merits of their ideas and the business plans to make those ideas a reality. All recipients will participate in a mentoring and financial literacy program. The loan fund will be sustainable long term since only a portion of the fund will be awarded annually and repayment of the loans will allow for the process to be repeated year after year.
Plans are also being formulated to use this generous initial donation to help raise additional funds to support this effort. A larger fund will allow for an increase in the number and size of loans, which will create greater long term community impact. Final details on the process will be made available to students upon their return to campus, currently complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Current Arkansas Baptist College President, Dr. Carlos R. Clark invites support from anyone interested in strengthening the opportunities for ABC students and the Little Rock community. “This can be the start of something unique and impactful. ABC has a long history of being a partner in community development, especially around its historic campus. We are grateful for this gift and the opportunity it provides to continue this tradition.”
Arkansas Baptist College, originally named the Minister’s Institute, was founded in 1884 by the Colored Baptists of Arkansas. In April 1885, the name of the College was changed to Arkansas Baptist College. The institution is an urban Historically Black College located in the storied Little Rock Central High District of the city. It is the only Baptist-affiliated HBCU west of the Mississippi and continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention. The current mission of the College is to prepare students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian Development, and preparation for employment in a global community.
Contact: Jeff Sellers
Executive Director of Institutional Advancement
Arkansas Baptist College