The Miracle of Multiplication

Rev. Jay Cooper

Rev. Jay Cooper

(Jay Cooper) – In 2010, Bishop Paul A. Duffey addressed those assembled for the annual Stegall Seminary Scholarship Foundation banquet. With his familiar, compassionate tone and twinkling eyes, he withdrew a $1 bill from his coat pocket and told us that it was a dollar unlike others – it was “loaded.” He declared that this dollar, given in love to seminary students, was loaded with possibility, prayer, faith and promise. As most of those gathered that evening, I was inspired and challenged to see the many ways that our own dollars are loaded.

At the time I was a first-year seminarian so I had a tangible, deep appreciation for the financial support provided by men and women across the country. Their dollars were far more than money… they were expressions of hope and encouragement for us all. The realization of Bishop Duffey’s words came in the miracle of multiplication that I was allowed to see firsthand. We might think that our single dollars are like just a few pieces of bread and fish, but in the hands of the Master they are multiplied and are able to feed thousands.

Perhaps the most important takeaway that evening, however, was the realization that I would someday become a foundation contributor. So, in the immediate days following my graduation from seminary in May 2012, I mailed Dr. Stegall a letter. In addition to a thank you note for helping me through seminary I also included my own $1 bill, as inspired by Bishop Duffey.

It was not much, but it too was loaded with prayer and hope and encouragement and love for all those who are answering God’s call into ordained ministry. It was a joy for my wife, Susan, and me to give that dollar as our first gift to the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Foundation. To God be the glory for fulfilling the promises we each make to support seminary students through our own loaded dollar bills.

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