McNair Fund Sparking Spiritual Growth

David McNair is dedicated to seeing young people grow spiritually, and he believes in the life-changing power of mission trips to spark spiritual growth.

“I’ve been changed by missions,” says McNair, a Millsaps alumnus. To support Millsaps students, faculty, and staff who wish to participate in international mission trips, McNair established the McNair Fund for Christian Missions in 2003.

“I felt God came to me and said, ‘this is something you can do,’” says McNair. “I found myself with property, and I made a pledge to Millsaps.”

This past summer the McNair Fund supported a trip to Costa Rica for the Millsaps men’s and women’s basketball teams, who were accompanied by coaches Justin Leblanc and Jimmy Smith, and Millsaps College Chaplain Joey Shelton. Throughout the day, students worked delivering food to local residents, and sharing talk and prayers with each of the families they met. Each night the team members engaged in a group reflection on the day.

Both men’s and women’s basketball team members speak to the transformative power that the trip had on their views of poverty and abundance, the workings of God, and themselves.

Women’s team member Anna Wilson reflects, “While we poured out the love of Christ on these communities, I was able to feel that love reciprocated on such a deep level. An invitation into a home, or a fierce hug with tears on my shoulder. Especially it was felt in the precious lady who grasped my hands so tightly and said through flowing tears ‘bless your hands.’”

Men’s team member Joshua Miller says of the experience, “This trip to Costa Rica was undoubtedly the most amazing and beneficial time I’ve ever spent in my life, and I just want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity. This trip alone strengthened my faith in God more than I ever could have predicted or even asked.”

Over the years, the McNair Fund has supported mission work in Honduras, India, Malawi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Romania, South Africa, Japan, West Bank, China, Tanzania, Mexico, and India.

“If you boil it all down, it’s about going, doing, and telling,” says McNair. “Spirituality comes from doing. This is an opportunity to get out of the country, away from home, and do and tell unhindered.”

The McNair Fund currently holds $650,000. McNair has committed to growing the fund to $1 million, a commitment he has included in his will.

“From a donor’s standpoint, I look to the future,” said McNair. “The present is the determining factor for the future, and we can change the present.”

If you are interested in learning about you can make a change in the lives of Millsaps students, call Hope Carter at 601.974.1023 or email

Back to Top