Morning Star Holy Church recently started a scholarship program to help local students with the cost of higher education. The Rev. Tyler Millner said the program started after the church received a donation. The scholarship fund began in earnest about three years ago.
“So, this is the first time that we gave four $500 scholarships,” he said.
Annually, the church plans to award at least four $500 scholarships, or two $1,000 scholarships.
Millner said the scholarships are named in honor of people who are significant/distinguished members of the community. It’s a tribute and “way of keeping their name alive,” he said.
Those for whom the scholarships were named after also had some relationship to the church “either through involvement or supporting some project or ministry that we were doing,” he said.
One of the scholarships, the Rev. Almeda & George B. Millner Scholarship, is named after the church’s first pastor and her husband.
“The church founder with a remarkable service and leadership for 39 years,” Millner said.
Another scholarship is the William & Carolyn Franck scholarship. William Franck led the Tultex Corporation from 1953-1988 for 35 years.
Milner said the two were selected for the tremendous force for good, both by his business, their personal caring and engagement as model volunteers.
“Also, for the investment and support of the Celebration Dinner for my arrival as Second Pastor,” he added.
In recognition of his history making, William Hobson, a former mayor of Martinsville and the first African American to serve on the Martinsville City Council from 1976-1980, also had a scholarship named after him.
The Clay Hodge/Joe Pritchett scholarship is named after two men who played important roles in the community, especially in leadership and engagement.
“Particularly in the realm of political action, civil rights, and daring to be a force to be reckon with in the interest and on behalf of the African American citizens in our community,” Miller said.
Those awarded scholarships this year are Aniya Penn, Teja Yates, Tania Draper and Breona Warren are pictured.