Jan. 25, 2010
Gladys Mallard and Herchel Sheets met while students at Berry College and were married three months before Herchel enrolled at Candler School of Theology. This was the beginning of fifty years of faithful service to The United Methodist Church, from 1949 to 1999. Herchel recalls, “Gladys has been with me every step of the way through all the years, generally standing in the background, playing a supporting role, without claims for attention or recognition.”
On May 28, 2009, Gladys and Herchel celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. In the months prior to this special day, Herchel began to consider ways to honor Gladys for her love and support. After many conversations, and with a great deal of thought, he decided to establish a program endowment at Candler in her name, and did so in December, 2009. “Gratitude,” Herchel says, “is the primary motivating factor in this gift: Gratitude for Candler School of Theology’s contributions to our life and ministry, and gratitude because of the person in whose honor it is given.” He says that Gladys only reluctantly agreed for the endowment to be called “The Gladys Mallard Sheets Endowment for Methodist Studies,” but says it was out of gratitude that he wanted to establish a program that would bear her name in perpetuity.
Thinking about the future, Herchel says: “We are not giving this gift because we know we will never need the money for any other purpose. We are giving in simple trust in God’s provision for whatever needs we may have in the future.”
The Gladys Mallard Sheets Endowment for Methodist Studies will provide resources for Candler’s Office of Methodist Studies. The Reverend Dr. Anne Burkholder, Associate Dean of Methodist Studies and Professor in the practice of Ecclesiology and Church Leadership, was thrilled to learn of this generous gift. As the gift was finalized Dr. Burkholder said, “This gift is a wonderful affirmation of our United Methodist identity and the work we are doing to support United Methodist students as they prepare for ministry. The Sheets Endowment will provide the financial basis for greater opportunities and exposure to the Church through extracurricular events and resources that we have not had in the past. I am deeply grateful to Herchel and Gladys for their love for the Church and their desire to undergird our work at Candler.”
In retirement, Gladys and Herchel live in Snellville, Georgia. Herchel maintains an active preaching, teaching, and writing schedule. Gladys is an active participant in her church, and also enjoys various hobbies, including working on elaborate needle-work projects. The Sheets have four children—two sons and two daughters—and eight grandchildren.
For additional information about this gift, or for information about how to make a gift to Candler School of Theology, please contact: Mathew Pinson in the Candler Development Office at 404.727.6352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.