Rev. Addison awarded Mitchell ministry award
A true product of Southern Wesleyan University, Rev. Rodney Addison’s parents met each other on the university’s campus.
And like the university’s mission to help men and women become all God intends them to be, Rev. Addison encourages spiritual growth through his ministry. In recognition of his achievements in ministry, Rev. Addison was awarded the Virgil A. Mitchell Excellence in Pastoral Ministry Award after he delivered the sermon at Southern Wesleyan University’s Baccalaureate Chapel on May 6.
Rev. Addison is pastor of West Town Community Church in Augusta, Ga. He and his wife are graduates of Hobe Sound Bible College in Florida. He has served previous congregations in Pennsylvania and Kansas City and as pastor of Fairview Wesleyan Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Rev. Addison currently serves as a member of the district board of administration for the South Coastal District of The Wesleyan Church and has served as chaplain for the Southern Wesleyan University’s North Augusta learning center.
During his baccalaureate sermon, Rev. Addison emphasized taking care of oneself, as well as serving others.
“Maintain balance in giving and taking in your life,” he told the graduates. “You have to invest in your own personal health so that you can serve other people. In order to serve, you have to have something to give.”
The university’s Baccalaureate Chapel includes a “Ceremony of the Servants” and a challenge for graduates of the university to find ways to serve the needs of people throughout the world.
Dr. David Spittal, president of Southern Wesleyan University, commended Addison and his wife, Evangeline, for their ministry.
The purpose of the Virgil A. Mitchell Excellence in Pastoral Ministry Award is to encourage excellence in ministry, enhance the importance of pastoral ministry, to recognize service to the church and support of Southern Wesleyan University, to emphasize the value of ministerial training offered at Southern Wesleyan University and most of all to exalt the greatest preacher of them all – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The award includes a plaque, a monetary gift and first consideration for eligibility for the Virgil and Mary Mitchell Scholarship to a ministerial student attending Southern Wesleyan and attending the recipient’s church.
The late Virgil Mitchell was born on a farm in Six Mile in 1914 and was the second of nine children. He graduated from Six Mile High School in 1934, where he was voted “the most studious, courteous and talented” boy in the class. He attended junior college at Central Wesleyan College, now named Southern Wesleyan University, and completed his degree in 1937 and went on to complete his Th.B. degree in 1943.
Mitchell began his ministry in 1934 and served as pastor and General Secretary of Extension and Evangelism. Mitchell was later elected as president of Southern Wesleyan University in 1968, but was elected general superintendent of the Wesleyan Church before he could take office. He served as general superintendent, the denomination’s highest office, for 21 years.
After his retirement in 1984 at age 70, Mitchell was appointed as assistant to the president and chaplain of Southern Wesleyan and served in this capacity until 1994. He also served as a distinguished member of the Southern Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and designated as the first trustee emeritus in 1984.
Mitchell was named Southern Wesleyan University’s Alumnus of the Century at a ceremony in May of 2006. He passed away in October of 2006.