Black Staff Association Honors Dotson with Scholarship


February 17, 2022, Nashville, TN—The Black Staff Association of The United Methodist Church (BSAUMC) has established a scholarship at Africa University in honor of the late Discipleship Ministries General Secretary Rev. Junius B. Dotson.

The endowed scholarship, established in conjunction with the Dotson family, will provide scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University, located at Old Mutare, Zimbabwe.

“Junius was a ‘World is My Parish’ pastor and supporter of Africa University,” said James Salley, president and chief executive officer of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc., and the institution’s chief advancement officer.

“He visited the AU campus shortly after he became general secretary of Discipleship Ministries and we talked about strengthening the relationship between our ministries,” Salley said. “Discipleship Ministries has been supporting scholarships for students at the university for years. After his visit and conversations with students, we sought to make the relationship more prolific. I thank God for his life, vision, and leadership. Thanks to the Black Staff Association for their support of Africa University by leaving a See All The People legacy in his memory.”

A named endowed scholarship fund at Africa University requires a minimum contribution of $10,000. To generate enough support for one student per year to attend Africa University in pepetuity an investment of $130,000 is needed. In announcing the scholarship, BSAUMC President Royya James said the BSAUMC executive board felt the importance to establish a scholarship in memory of the life and legacy of “our Black Staff Association member, brother and colleague.”

“Junius was an authentic leader, collaborator, relationship builder and passionate witness to Christ and we wanted to continue to celebrate his many achievements by creating this endowed scholarship that will support students at Africa University, “ James said, adding, “As General Secretary at Discipleship Ministries he was always present and available to share about his bold and prophetic vision to See All The People. His words of inspiration/proclamation to stop fixing churches and focus on the main thing of making disciples for Jesus Christ continues to resonate across our great connection.”

Dotson’s adult children, Wesley, and Janelle Dotson offered their appreciation: “We are grateful that the Black Staff of the UMC is honoring the great work and legacy of our father. This endowed scholarship will continue his work to pour into young leaders to make disciples to transform the world.”

Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey recalled the message she shared at Dotson’s funeral where she acknowledged what a strong leader Dotson was, not only for Discipleship Ministries, but the UMC.

“The world is a better place because he has been in it. He has opened our eyes to issues of justice, inclusion and equality and has helped us to see all the people. I have known Junius for a while but really got to know him as we began collaborating prior to General Conference in 2019 and his work with UMNext and later as we served together on the Mediation Team that led to the creation of what is now known as the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation,” Bishop Harvey said.

Dotson died Feb. 25, 2021, less than a month after announcing his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55.

He led Discipleship Ministries from 2016 and served in multiple, high-level roles in The United Methodist Church while with the agency.

BSAUMC President Royya James called on United Methodists to invest in the Junius B> Dotson Scholarship Fund. Gifts in support of the fund can be made online. Visit and select “Junius B. Dotson Endowment Fund” to designate your gift.

To make a one-time or recurring gift using “Text to Give”: Simply send a text to 844-417-0902 with the amount you would like to contribute. Make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount. (Example:  $100.)  Within a few minutes, you’ll receive a text with a link to register.

You may also send your gift by check, made out to Africa University, to this address:

Africa University Development Office

P O Box 340007

Nashville, TN 37203-0007


The Black Staff Association is a UMC professional organization dedicated to serving the needs of Black staff employed by UMC boards, agencies, conferences, jurisdictions and districts in The United Methodist Church. The BSA works collaboratively with all segments of The United Methodist Church to strengthen congregations and programs and serve staff members at all stages of their careers by providing networking, educational and career development opportunities.

Africa University is a Pan-African higher education ministry of The United Methodist Church. The university opened in 1992 with 40 students from six African countries. This year, 3,060 students fom 28 African nations are enrolled. Degree programs as well as short courses are offered in three colleges: Health, Agriculture & Natural Sciences; Business, Peace, Leadership & Governance; and Social Sciences, Humanities, Theology and Education. More than 90 percent of Africa University’s 10,000+ alumni have remained on the continent of Africa. Graduates are in leadership roles in more than 32 African countries as well as in countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. The university’s main campus is located near Mutare, in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe.

To learn more about Africa University, visit:

For additional information about how you can invest in the ministry of Africa University, visit:


Andra Stevens, Director of Communications

Africa University Development Office

Tel: (615) 340-7438