The Order of Dickson award was given out of love for a man who served as a pastor in the Starkville area for over 20 years.
The family of the late Rev. Bernard Crump was presented with flowers and a plaque that replicates the plaque with Rev. Crump’s photo that will be placed on permanent display in the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church offices.
“Our children and I knew Bernard as a wonderful father and a loving, caring husband,” said Alveria C. Crump, wife of the late Rev. Bernard Crump. “It is so special when others recognize spiritual qualities in someone as my husband, Bernard. To God be the glory!”
Five local churches made contributions to bestow the honor of The Order of Dickson on the late Rev. Bernard Crump. The churches including Lindsey Chapel United Methodist Church, Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, Rockhill United Methodist Church, Plair United Methodist Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church contributed the necessary $1,000 to the Dickson Order Benevolent Fund. The late Rev. Crump pastured these churches for 24 years at the time of his passing.
“The Rev. Bernard Crump is only the second recipient of the Dickson Order that was funded by more than one local church,” said Rev. Mike Hicks, executive director of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, the organization sponsoring the Order of Dickson.
Hicks said there are less than 75 recipients of the Dickson Order in the Mississippi Annual Conference.
In 2002, Mr. and Mrs. W. O. “Chet” Dillard of Clinton, established “The Dickson Order,” in memory of Rev. Nathan Andrew Dickson. The Dickson Order is a special interest restricted endowment fund to honor ministers of The Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church who have served faithfully and blessed the lives of individuals in the churches they have served. The income from the fund provides scholarships for individuals enrolled in a seminary pursuing pastoral ministry.
Individuals, churches, or organizations wishing to bestow this honor upon a minister must make a contribution of at least $1,000 to the fund. To be eligible for membership in The Order, a minister must have served as a pastor for a minimum of 20 years.
”We are so very proud of the churches and individuals that contributed to Rev. Bernard Crump posthumously receiving the Dickson Order award,” said Starkville District Superintendent Dr. Embra Jackson. “The members of the churches that contributed are members of the churches that Rev. Crump served as pastor prior to his retirement as a United Methodist pastor. They showed their love and appreciation for this great yet humble leader. It was his vision that helped these churches become a part of a ‘larger parish.’ He led them with humility and grace.”
In addition to serving as the first black District Superintendent in Mississippi from 1974-1980, he continued to lead people to Christ in the Oktibbeha-Clay Parish churches from 1980-2004. Crump also served the Oktibbeha County community and surrounding area for more than 32 years as District 2 Justice Court Judge.
Jackson said funds raised above what was needed for this endowment were contributed to a scholarship fund at The United Methodist Foundation that was already established in Rev. Crump’s honor.
For more information about the Dickson Order, go to http://www.ms-umf.org/?page_id=216.
See this story in the April 1, 2016 edition of The Starkville District UMC newsletter at4-1-16 newsletter