Carson Center continues small-church vision


Merrill Ewert, president of Fresno Pacific University, was the keynote speaker Saturday at Tabor College?s Carson Center banquet, the highlight of Carson Week activities March 13-18.

It was an extension of the worldview of the Carson Mennonite Brethren Church of Delft, Minn., a small, rural congregation known for sending far more than its share of missionaries and servant leaders into the world.

Even in the process of closing its doors, the congregation made one more mission-minded decision, assuring that the church?s work would go on after the church ceased to function.

In 2006, the congregation gave a third of the proceeds from the closing of the church to Tabor College. The gift led to the creation of the Carson Center for Mission, Service and Global Education, providing opportunities for students to participate in mission and service projects around the world.

Several past members of the former Carson Church, including a number of gifted leaders from a single family, the Ewerts, visited the campus for a full schedule of Carson Week activities March 13-18, in Hillsboro.

Merrill Ewert, president of Fresno Pacific University, a Tabor College graduate who grew up in the Carson Church, was the keynote speaker Saturday at a fundraising banquet for the Carson Center held at the Hillsboro MB Church.

Merrill was joined by brothers Lowell Ewert, director of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University, and Norm Ewert, associate professor of economics at Wheaton College, and sister, Elaine (Ewert) Kroeker, a driving force behind the creation of the Carson Center and a member of the Tabor board of directors.

Also in attendance were Bob Ewert, from Mountain Lake, Minn., and sister Phyllis (Ewert) Stucky of Lancaster, Pa.

?Tonight we celebrate the legacy of this little church in Delft, Minn.,? Merrill said. ?We honor and we thank those who have shaped our lives. We dedicate the Carson Center here at Tabor College to service in the kingdom, and we commit ourselves to support this college and the Center.

?As president of Fresno Pacific I ask you to join me in supporting Tabor College and the Carson Center, that it may be a place that calls people to lives of missions and service.?

Merrill Ewert has led Fresno Pacific University since 2002 and was awarded the Tabor College Alumni Merit Award in 1978 and 2007. He earned his bachelor?s in social science from Tabor in 1967.

Kroeker, a 1972 Tabor graduate, spoke about the history of the Carson MB Church, which she attended her entire life until it closed Nov. 27, 2005. The creation of the Carson Center assures that the missional legacy of the church will continue, she said.

The goal of the banquet was to increase awareness of the Carson Center Endowment, which provides ongoing resources for the Carson Center and provides funds for operations and student scholarships.

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