by: Dr. Gary Jarnagin

Cleveland, Ga. – Anyone who has walked through the Nix Student Center in the past nine years has probably heard singing. In August 1978, 39 years ago, Gloria Pruitt Sutton, known throughout the campus as Ms. Gloria, began a career at Truett-McConnell College, now Truett McConnell University.

When asked to describe her long and distinguished career at TMU, Ms. Gloria responded, “Throughout the years, God has been faithful to Truett McConnell. In spite of our shortcomings and through the prayers of the faithful, He has been faithful. Many times, God has told me to just be still, just trust Me, and He has blessed.  He is an awesome God.”

Ms. Gloria has held numerous positions at TMU, including assistant to the controller, business office clerk, switchboard operator, safety officer and, since 2008, mail room and copy center manager. She has lived all her life in the city of Cleveland and has likewise attended the same church, St. John Missionary Baptist Church. There, she and her husband are the longest living members.

Ms. Gloria and her husband, Phineas “Snap” Sutton, have been married for 51 years.  Together, they have one son, Juan Maurice, one stepdaughter, Shirley Annette and two adopted daughters, Christine and Almah. The couple are also the proud grandparents to ten grandchildren, three great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Christine and Almah were actually TMU students, but due to troubling times for their families, both of their mothers came to Ms. Gloria and asked her to adopt the girls and take care of them. She accepted that as a request from God and complied.

Speaking of her role at TMU, she stated, “I consider myself a servant – I copy, answer questions and pray – whatever it takes to get the job done for the students, professors and parents…and I love it.”

Prayer has been such a vitally important part of Ms. Gloria’s life. She recalls a particularly tough relationship on campus was not going well. She committed to pray for one week for this specific person before going to the individual about the situation.  Ms. Gloria asked that God would soften the individual’s heart.  After the week of prayer had been completed, Ms. Gloria approached the individual which resulted in many tears.

“I have never seen such a change in anyone,” she explained. “Whatever the problem is, carry it to God, God can carry it out.” With a grateful heart, Ms. Gloria revealed that, “many times we think it takes more than prayer. He is more than prayer. He will resolve the issue.”

Ask anyone if they know “Ms. Gloria” and you will hear quick and meaningful responses. “Ms. Gloria has been a Godsend to TMU for four decades,” stated Dr. Emir Caner, President. Her life is a beautiful picture of a faithful follower of our Lord.”

Alum Rosalyn Nixon shared, “I love Ms. Gloria. If you are feeling defeated, she prays you through it. If you are hungry, she feeds you. Anything you need, she’ll take care of it for you. I will forever be grateful for this Woman of God!”

“I love this sweet woman,” exclaimed TMU alum Rebecca Creswell. “She is such a blessing to everyone on campus! No matter what kind of day I was having, whenever I would stop by to see her, I would always leave with a smile on my face.”

This faithful employee is not only an integral part of the TMU experience, but she also impacts the community as the TMU liaison with the White County Kiwanis Club, where she has served for the past 17 years.

Ms. Gloria is not only an integral part of the TMU experience, but also impacts the community as the TMU liaison with the White County Kiwanis Club where she has served for the past seventeen years.  How would Ms. Gloria describe TMU today?  “Here, we have the freedom to display Christ in our lives.  I truly love Dr. Caner because he emphasizes to professors and staff to walk the talk.  Christ is first, and we are encouraged to make family a priority.”

Ms. Gloria, indeed, has the joy of Jesus in her heart and has impacted many students, faculty and staff over the years.  Be sure to listen when you are walking through the Nix Student Center.  If you listen carefully, you may hear God talking to you through His servant, Ms. Gloria Sutton!


Dr. Jarnagin is the Director of Financial Development at TMU.

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