Every year, Ruth Daugherty (United trustee 2011-2017) sends a special letter.
This letter is addressed to the current recipient of the Robert M. Daugherty Scholarship, designated for a student pursuing pastoral ministry. She tells each new recipient about her husband of nearly 50 years for whom the scholarship was named.
Bob graduated from United in 1955. Responding to God’s call on his life to pastoral ministry, Bob served Evangelical United Brethren and then United Methodist churches in Eastern Pennsylvania. He went on to serve as District Superintendent, Council Director (presently known as Director of Connectional Ministries) and, finally, assistant to the Bishop.
During his seminary days, a member of his local church sent Bob a monthly check to help with expenses. Impacted by this generosity, Bob made a commitment to give financial assistance to other persons called to Christian ministry as ordained clergy. Upon his death in 2003, and at his request, a scholarship fund was established at United for students planning to be involved in local parish ministry.
Ruth has continued giving to the scholarship, with the goal of growing the scholarship to a point where it can provide full tuition for one student or half tuition for two students. To date, about a dozen students have received the Robert M. Daugherty Scholarship.
Ruth sees it as an investment in each student’s future. By reducing their seminary expenses, the scholarship allows them to start their ministry careers focused on serving God without the pressure of financial worries.
The students write to Ruth, too. They tell her about what they are learning at United, their ministry and their hopes and dreams for post-graduation. Most importantly, they say, “Thank you!”
At a United gathering in Pennsylvania this past spring, Ruth met Mick Dawes, the very first recipient of the Robert M. Daugherty Scholarship. They talked about those special letters, and the impact Bob and Ruth’s investment has made on Mick and his pastoral ministry. God keeps doing a new thing, and through the legacy of Bob Daugherty, the next generation of pastors and church leaders are being prepared and equipped to make disciples of Jesus Christ.