I did read that wiki page prior to writing my post but didn't quite grasp the part that I needed to understand. But since you redirected me to it I assumed it would help me and I reread it and indeed it can be used to set any variable not just the PATH variable.
I used to be a UNIX admin (not a very good one) and even then I would forget about the source command. The fact that you put the source command in front of the line of text I had will probably fix that problem. But using the preference panel is probably a better idea for me, thanks!!