Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial School for Negro Girls in 1904 with $1.50 and desks made from packing crates for the six students in its first year. She and the students sold fried fish and sweet potato pies to raise money, and she soon became adept at fundraising among tourists and businessmen in the area, including James Gamble of Proctor & Gamble and John D. Rockefeller.
The school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1926 and merged with the all-male Cookman Institute to become what is now Bethune-Cookman University. Mrs. Bethune stayed on as president until 1944, while also serving as a consultant on racial matters to the White House beginning with Calvin Coolidge. She became especially close to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and was part of FDR's unofficial "black cabinet".
Formerly Presbyterian, Mrs. Bethune joined the MEC when the college became affiliated. She was a delegate to General Conference from 1928 through 1952, served on the General Board on Higher Education, and was outspoken against the creation of the Central Jurisdiction in the 1939 church merger.
UMC Discipleship Ministries has an excellent article using her example in its stewardship series "Exploring Stewardship with the Saints: Mary McLeod Bethune—The Way of Authority" based on James 2:1-8. http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/…/exploring-stewardship-with…