On July 22, 2021, Rev. Dr. James “Jim” T. Trice Jr. passed away, leaving behind his beloved wife, Mavis, son, Matt, granddaughter, Cali, and countless family and friends who loved him. During his lifetime and ministry serving United Methodist congregations in the South Georgia Annual Conference, he epitomized what it meant to be a servant leader.
Dr. Trice’s pastoral appointments included Harmony UMC in LaGrange, The Geneva Larger Parish in Geneva, Aldersgate UMC in Columbus, Buena Vista UMC, Forest Hills UMC in Macon, Bainbridge First UMC, Valdosta First UMC, District Superintendent of the Columbus District, and Isle of Hope UMC in Savannah.
For about eight years, Dr. and Mrs. Trice served as Bill and Linda Daniel’s pastoral family at Isle of Hope UMC. “Both Jim and Mavis meant so much to our daughter and son and Linda and me,” Bill said. “They were with our church during a growth period both in facilities and memberships.”
Linda adds, “They steered the church toward missions, which was very important to them and has been a major part of our church ever since.”
Dr. Trice inspired Isle of Hope UMC to adopt a goal of becoming a “50-50” church, whereby the church began a long effort to budget as much for local, national, and international missions as it budgeted for its own congregation.
The Trices’ pastoral leadership was so impactful that the Daniels wanted to honor his memory and their ministry together by establishing the Rev. James and Mavis Trice Scholarship Endowment with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.
“We designed the scholarship so it would be available to Georgia students in local Methodist churches who want to attend Methodist colleges and universities,” Bill said. “By establishing the scholarship endowment through the Foundation, we were able to take advantage of the United Methodist Dollars for Scholars program.”
The UM Dollars for Scholars program involves matching support from a student’s Methodist church, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, and participating United Methodist Foundations and United Methodist-related schools. The potential scholarship may total up to $4,000 each year.
“The UM Dollars for Scholars program is a great way not just for scholarship endowment funds like ours but for individual donations to leverage up and make a real, meaningful impact for young people. We think it is important to recognize young people’s gifts, graces, and talents at the local church level,” Bill said. “We hope that a good number of those who benefit from the scholarship will be able to return to their church and communities and make a difference in the years to come.”
The Daniels are children and grandchildren of families who believed in the value of higher education. “I went to Emory. It’s where Linda and I met,” Bill said. “I could not have gotten there without the financial aid that Emory gave me, and I am most grateful for that.”
“We also believe very strongly that we are called to use the resources we have been blessed with to help others. Higher education is a generational opportunity,” Linda adds.
At the Daniel’s request, LaGrange College students will be given first preference when the $1,000 scholarships from the endowment are awarded each year. “LaGrange is where Jim and Mavis met and began their lives together,” Linda said.
Lindsey Green and Jonathan Walden, LaGrange College students, were the first to receive a $1,000 scholarship award from this endowment fund for the 2022-2023 academic year. Lindsey, an accounting major, is a member of Temple UMC. Jonathan, a sports management major, is a member of Cumming First UMC. In addition, both students received matching support from their congregations.
Previously, Bill held several key leadership positions with the Foundation, including chair of the board of trustees and loan committee. He explains why his family chose the Foundation as its planned giving partner.
“The Foundation’s investments are well managed and consistent with our Methodist values and philosophies,” Bill said. “By placing the funds in the Foundation, we are assured that the impact will last forever.”
The Daniels hope this endowment will inspire other people to establish or contribute to higher education scholarships to impact the lives of children and people yet unborn.
“Also, we see this as a real opportunity not just for individuals but Sunday school classes and church groups to honor the memory of ministerial families who have impacted their community in such wonderful ways as the Trices,” Bill said. “There are other ministerial families who have impacted our lives. We hope to honor them in similar ways so they will continue to impact people just as they did during their lifetimes.”