Apr. 8, 2010
Candler School of Theology at Emory University has received a gift from the Rev. Dr. Herchel and Gladys Mallard Sheets to establish an endowment that will ensure the continued development of the Methodist Studies program at the school.
The couple made the gift to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. The pair met while they were college undergraduates and married three months before Herchel enrolled at Candler. He graduated in 1952 and served The United Methodist Church from 1949 to 1999.
The Gladys Mallard Sheets Endowment for Methodist Studies will provide resources for Candler’s Office of Methodist Studies, which promotes denominational and conference relations, coordinates course offerings, facilitates pan-Methodist awareness and relationships and mentors ministerial candidates who are seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church.
The Rev. Dr. Anne Burkholder, associate dean of Methodist studies and professor in the practice of ecclesiology and church leadership, said the gift will have a lasting impact on Candler’s Methodist students.
“This gift is a wonderful affirmation of our United Methodist identity and the work we are doing at Candler to support United Methodist students as they prepare for ministry, she said.
"The Sheets Endowment will provide our students the financial basis for greater opportunities and exposure to the Church through extracurricular events and other resources. I am deeply grateful to Herchel and Gladys for their love for the Church and their desire to undergird our work at Candler.”
Herchel Sheets said the gift is in recognition of both the woman and the educational institution for which he is grateful.
“Gratitude 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 said.
“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,” he added. The endowment recognizes her many contributions to the Church.
Regarding the future, Sheets 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 Sheetses live in Snellville, Ga., where Herchel maintains an active preaching, teaching, and writing schedule. Gladys is an active participant in their church and also enjoys various hobbies, including working on elaborate needlework projects. They have four children—two sons and two daughters—and eight grandchildren.
For additional information about this endowment, 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.