Our life together as a resource center has been linked to theological education from our beginnings in the mid-1980s. Indeed, our stewardship of the Joseph V. Nash Multicultural Collection came to us with three stipulations: (1) that we preserve and continually update it; (2) that it always be available to the local African American community; (3) that it be located in a center of theological education.
TRC was born in DuBose Hall on the campus of Presbyterian School of Christian Education, just as the fortunes of theological education and the ecumenical movement began to wax and wane; our life as a small nonprofit soon became precarious. When PSCE federated with Union Presbyterian Seminary we lost our home and began what would be the first of five moves in the next eight years. Now the place we have called home for nearly four years – -historic Virginia Hall on the Baptist Theological Seminary campus, has been sold, and we are on the move again. BTSR has been good to us and we will be forever grateful to them. Their President, Dr. Ron Crawford, wrote recently that the move is part of the school’s effort to seek “a more resilient future,” even as he acknowledged that “we will greatly miss brick and mortar.” We, too, will miss the brick and mortar known as Virginia Hall!
In many ways our next move is an obvious one and, though we would not have imagined it as recently as two months ago, it feels like going home. We go to another historic building on another seminary campus: Kingsley Hall on the campus of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Dean John Kinney and The School of Theology have been with us from the beginning; their financial commitment has never wavered, nor has their encouragement to their students and their many related congregations to utilize our ministry.
Joe Nash would be pleased; his beloved collection will be in a center of theological education and, because he loved the church and the inclusiveness to which the Gospel calls us, our doors will be open wide -‐ -‐ to the local African American community in a new and different way, and to the growing diversity of metropolitan Richmond.
We recognize, as must seminaries and the churches they serve, that while we grow attached to bricks and mortar, they do not define us. We are more than bricks and mortar. We are people engaged in ministry with other people, connecting them with teaching resources. We’re counting on you to join us in the next leg of our journey; we welcome your prayers, your gifts, your service!
Judith FaGalde Bennett, Executive Director