June 13, 2016
By Carrie McGuffin
DECATUR, Ga. — Two Cooperative Baptists from Emory University and Texas Christian University will be honored June 24 with the Daniel and Earlene Vestal Scholarship at the General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C. Caitlyn Furr, a student at Emory’s Candler School of Theology, and Jared Jaggers, a student at TCU’s Brite Divinity School, will be recognized during the Friday morning session of the 25th Anniversary Assembly.
The Fellowship’s most prestigious scholarship, named in honor of former Executive Coordinator Daniel Vestal and his wife, Earlene, was created in 2011 to further the CBF’s 25-year commitment to theological education.
The scholarship selection committee said that Furr and Jaggers embody “the present and future of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”
“They bring creative and realistic ideals and opportunities to their ministry endeavors,” the committee wrote. “They embody the ideals of CBF, living them out daily. We are blessed to have these gifted young people committed to CBF ministry.”
Furr, a rising second-year student pursuing her Master of Divinity degree with a certificate in Baptist studies, will also attend Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health to earn a dual degree. Her plans for ministry include working to coordinate medical missions, disaster relief and other global missions and health-related initiatives.
A 2013 graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., Furr worked in healthy policy in Washington D.C., before beginning her theological education at Emory. She served with America’s Essential Hospitals, an organization which advocates on behalf of nonprofit and public hospitals. Furr currently serves on the board for the Baptist Studies Program at Candler School of Theology and is a 2015-2016 Fellow with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
Jaggers, a rising second-year student pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at Brite Divinity School, is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in religion. Before beginning his theological education at Brite, Jaggers worked in the insurance industry. Jaggers’ professional aspiration is pastoral and education ministry, and he is interested in non-traditional models of church.
Devita Parnell, CBF’s Young Baptist Ecosystem manager, emphasized that both Furr and Jaggers represent a wholehearted commitment to ministry as Cooperative Baptists as well as to living out the aspirational attributes of the Fellowship — striving to be Christ-like, innovative, authentic and pursuing excellence.
“I am very excited to announce Caitlyn and Jared as this year’s recipients of the Daniel and Earlene Vestal Scholarship,” Parnell said. “Caitlyn has a vision for the future of the church and for the future of CBF Global Missions. She brings with her a deep background of experience and education in the Fellowship. Jared also has a strong connection and experience in the Fellowship. He is a fabulous servant leader — eager to participate and serve. He brings a wonderful spirit and character.
“Jared and Caitlyn are extremely bright individuals, well-equipped in different streams of ministry and represent the best and brightest among us in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”
To learn more about the 2016 recipients of the Vestal Scholarship, listen to their interview with creative storyteller Clark Hill.
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.