In a tradition of continued investment in the youth of the church and community, New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church took another step toward advancing the minds of our young people with a college visit to the historical and well renowned Tuskegee University. Students and parents boarded a charter bus and rode the winding roads of south central Alabama to the small town of Tuskegee where a university with a giant history resides. The participants were able to experience a taste of this history with two tours of the National Historic Sites of The Oaks, which was the home of Booker T. Washington and the George Washington Carver Museum. These two men were not only pillars of Tuskegee but they were accomplished and significant pillars within American History. As the group toured the house where Booker T. Washington resided, stories were shared that painted a picture of how advanced this man was intellectually and socially. He set an academic standard that remains the bedrock for Tuskegee University today. One interesting story shared involved how in response to his fund raising efforts one wealthy individual sent Booker T. Washington one dollar (sarcastic gesture). Booker T. Washington took that dollar and purchased some seeds that he used for instructing the students about agriculture. Mr. Washington sent a thank you letter to the “generous” donor that described what was done with his donation. In return the donor’s next gift was in the amount of one million dollars (lot of money for the 1800s). The learning experience continued as the group had the opportunity to view the scientific genius of George Washington Carver and the pure heart of a man that cared more about helping others than individual monetary gain. Dr. Carver’s most notable development of over 300 uses for the peanut helped a southern economy that was experiencing problems in its big cotton industry in the form of poor crop production and boll weevil infestation. George Washington Carver showed farmers how rotating the crops from cotton that depletes the soil of nitrogen to crops such as peanuts that provides the soil with nitrogen would produce better crops. The many displays within the museum and the documentary film were very enlightening.
Aside from intellectual growth this trip was designed to provide the youth an opportunity to grow socially by interacting with college students within different college settings. The group had brunch in Tompkins Hall where the college students at the university dine. There was opportunity to interact with college students, as well as, a run in with a member of the Miss Tuskegee court who provided some inspirational words for pursuing education at Tuskegee and posed for pictures with some of the group. The group would later experience a one sided football game as Tuskegee Golden Tigers handily beat Stillman College 49-20. As the touchdowns for Tuskegee became routine, the group would look toward the Marching Crimson Pipers of Tuskegee University for entertainment both in the stands and on the field. The band performed an outstanding show during half time, but the high school students would find out that just as much entertainment happens in the stands. With the many chants, musical selections, and school cheers by the band and student body, this was an experience that can’t be seen within the borders of Bay County. It’s a blessing to have leadership and a loving caring church willing to invest in expanding the horizons of young minds. The entire trip was inspirational, motivational, and enjoyable. We look forward to the next college adventure…..
Please visit some of the sights from the trip in the
photo gallery at www.NewBethel1908.org