$1.2 million gift honors Nunnellys

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

In the fall of 1951, Lillian Black and Don Nunnelly were in line to check out at the Lexington Theological Seminary (then called the College of the Bible) book store. They'd just completed registration for the fall term and were purchasing their books. Marilyn Taylor, one of Lillian's roommates, thought the two should meet and introduced them.

The rest, as they say, is history.

What began as a chance meeting on that afternoon became a friendship that would lead to marriage less than a year later, a family, and the sharing of a lifetime of service as ministers in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As the Nunnellys moved from place to place - finally ending with Don's full-time work as senior minister of Frankfort's First Christian Church - they forged friendships and an abiding love for the care and nurturing of those in each of their "flocks."

The Nunnellys' dedication to ministry and all that it means has resulted in an anonymous gift of $1.2 million to the seminary to establish The Don and Lillian Nunnelly Chair in the Practice of Ministry. It is the largest single financial gift given to the seminary in its 138-year history.

The money will be invested and interest used to fund a professorship at the seminary.

"Establishing the professorship has a two-fold purpose," said R. Robert Cueni, LTS president. "It honors the ministry of two revered seminary alumni and, in doing so, honors the call to pastoral ministry."

Cueni said the seminary will immediately begin a search for someone to fill the post.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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