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Bank, bishop receive Hood Seminary Bishop’s Award

Hood Theological Seminary

SALISBURY — F&M Bank and Hood Theological Seminary alumnus the Rev. Edward Spence Jr. were honored at the 15th annual Bishop James Walker Hood Donor and Scholarship Recognition Dinner on May 16.

The dinner is held to recognize and thank donors whose support reaffirms Hood’s mission and  investment in the future of the church and society. Scholarship recipients were invited to give them an opportunity to meet the donors who fund their scholarships.

The Bishop James Walker Hood Awards for Distinguished Service is the highest honor Hood seminary bestows on donors, leaders and supporters. President Vergel L. Lattimore thanked this year’s recipients for their generous financial support and contributions of time, talent and treasure to the mission of Hood seminary.

F&M has been a community bank by design since its inception over 100 years ago. Chartered in 1909 with just two employees, F&M now serves the region with 10 locations in Rowan and Cabarrus counties and more than 130 employees.

F&M Bank has a long history of giving back to the community, from hometown reinvestment and money management education to the F&M Foundation.

Hood Theological Seminary has been a beneficiary of the philanthropic generosity of F&M Bank and the F&M Bank Foundation for over 10 years. Their gifts for annual fund support, as well as major contributions for capital campaigns, strengthened the seminary in its mission of preparing women and men for leadership in the Christian church.

This support has impacted hundreds of students who have come to this institution on their journey of ministry.

Spence received his master of divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary in 2007. Since then, he has  embraced the charge presented to all graduates during the commencement service: to continue to support the seminary by their generosity.

Spence is one of the most consistent alumni donors who has supported Hood through sustaining gifts for over a decade. His generous spirit and steadfast financial support have enriched the community and enhanced academic strength and vitality.

Spence joined the Marine Corps in January 1972 and completed his military training in Oceanside, California. He served in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, and traveled around the world from Europe to South Korea. He retired from the Marine Corps as a master gunnery sergeant (E-9).

In addition to his master’s degree from Hood, Spence holds a bachelor’s in computer science with a minor in math from Fayetteville State University as well as a degree in management from the Military Institution.

He was called into the ministry in 2003. He is pastor of Bridges Grove AME Zion Church in Shannon.

An unexpected highlight of the evening was the presentation by Mary Matthews of a check for $10,000 for the Bishop Leake Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarship was established in 2013 by the Connectional Lay Council of the AME Zion Church; Matthews is its president.

The gift will allow more money to be awarded to students at the seminary.

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