The Ardelle & Hardy Clemons Endowment Fund
at Baptist News Global
Baptist News Global is an independent, reader-supported provider of news and opinion for Baptists and other Christians. Our mission is to interpret Christianity and culture through compelling journalism that informs and motivates people to make a difference in the world. Our content, provided free of charge to readers worldwide at baptistnews.com, reflects a perspective that is Baptist in heritage and ecumenical in spirit. Learn more about BNG.
The Ardelle & Hardy Clemons Endowment Fund was established in 2008 to help underwrite a student internship program at Associated Baptist Press (now Baptist News Global).
Ardelle Clemons was a visionary member of ABP’s founding Board of Directors. She quickly became an enthusiastic, articulate and generous advocate for ABP’s vital role in Baptist life. At the time she rotated off the board in 2004, she held the distinction of being the longest-tenured director. Ardelle passed away in 2011 at age 93 following a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She and Hardy had been married 57 years at the time of her death.
Hardy Clemons has long been one of the most beloved and respected leaders in Baptist life, serving as a pastor, author, counselor and speaker. His pastorates included Second Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas, and then First Baptist Church, Greenville, S.C. After retiring in 2005, he and Ardelle moved to San Antonio where Hardy later served for three years as executive interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church. Hardy was the third moderator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (1993-94).
In 2008 Jimmy and Kaye Nickell, close friends of the Clemons for decades, provided a gift as seed funding for an endowment that would honor the shared ministry of Ardelle and Hardy. The choice of an internship program as the beneficiary of earnings from the endowment reflected an appreciation for Ardelle’s stalwart advocacy for a free press rooted in historic Baptist values, her life-long love of learning, and her deep devotion to college students and young ministers. (Jimmy Nickell, also one of ABP/BNG’s longest-tenured board members, died in November 2019.)
“Ardelle was passionate about the value of an autonomous, thoughtful and fair-minded news service for Baptist Christians,” Hardy has noted. “Serving on ABP’s board during its formative years was one of the joys of her life. She would be a little embarrassed by all this attention in her name, but she would be so deeply proud of this investment in the future of Baptist News Global.”
Thanks to additional gifts from the Clemons family and friends, the Clemons Fund has grown to approximately $140,000. Through the years, ABP and now Baptist News Global has utilized earnings from the fund to offer a modest stipend to undergraduate or graduate school interns with an interest in religious journalism or related fields. Typical internships have been semester-long commitments of six to eight hours a week.
With Hardy’s support and encouragement, we want to do much more. Our vision is that the Ardelle and Hardy Clemons Fund will become the centerpiece of a new residency program in faith-based journalism at BNG.
The residency program is designed around two core objectives:
- To provide a practical, in-depth learning experience for promising journalists, including skill development, professional networking, and coaching from an experienced member of our team.
- To develop new generations of outstanding journalists who are informed and guided by Christian faith and prepared for the challenges of the digital age.
The program will incorporate best practices from pastoral residency programs as well as training and professional development programs for new media journalists.
The funding threshold to achieve that goal is $250,000. David Wilkinson, BNG’s Executive Director/Publisher, and the BNG Foundation’s Board of Directors is working alongside Hardy to enlist gifts and pledges to reach that goal.
In addition to making a contribution each year, Hardy has included the endowment fund in his estate plans. Previous gifts to the fund have included modest donations of $100 to $250 as well as a handful of pledges and gifts of $5,000 to $10,000. Your gift in any amount will help move us toward the goal of preparing new generations of women and men with a calling and commitment to faith-based journalism.
To make a one-time gift or a recurring, monthly donation using our secure, online donation form, click here and select Ardelle and Hardy Clemons Endowment Fund in the Fund field. To give by mail, make your check payable to Baptist News Global and send to:
PO Box 21148
Winston-Salem, NC 27120
Be sure to write “Clemons Fund” on the memo line.
If you have been blessed with financial resources that would enable you to consider a major gift of $10,000 or more to support the Clemons Fund, we would welcome an opportunity to arrange a personal visit to tell you more about the residency program and ways to structure your gift. Contact David Wilkinson directly at (336) 865-2688 (mobile phone) or via email at [email protected].
All contributions to BNG and to the Clemons Endowment Fund are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.