Milligan recognizes local servant-leaders during annual program

Milligan Collegeís 2019 Leaders in Christian Service, from top to bottom, left to right: Cooper Reeves, Boyce Berry, Dan Simerly, Donna Noland, Brian Way, Cay Greer, Missie Way, Roger Leonard, President Dr. Bill Greer and Eula Fields. (Not pictured: Tim Belisle)

Milligan recognized 12 leaders who have demonstrated servant-leadership in their careers and community at the college’s 19th annual Leaders in Christian Service program Monday in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Chapel.

This year’s ceremony was celebrated in conjunction with the college’s observation of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Tangible acts of service honor the memory and influence of Martin Luther King Jr.,” said President Dr. Bill Greer. “As we reflect on King’s legacy, it seems fitting that we also recognize the commitment to servant-leadership shown by the individuals honored today.”

For the first time, the college honored a high school student, Cooper Reaves, for his early demonstration of the hallmark characteristics of servant-leadership.

This year’s keynote speaker was Ethan Magness, senior minister at First Christian Church in Johnson City.

An Elizabethton native, Magness earned his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and received his Master of Divinity from Emmanuel Christian Seminary in 2000. He previously served at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland, and taught for Milligan through the college’s Semester in Ministry program.

The 2019 Leaders in Christian Service honorees include:

Tim Belisle, of Johnson City, Tennessee, is the general counsel for Ballad Health. He attends First Christian Church.

Boyce Berry, of Johnson City, is a local pediatrician. He attends Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Eula Fields, of Johnson City, is a server at Charley’s. She attends Thankful Baptist Church.

Cay Greer, of Johnson City, is a community volunteer. She attends First Christian Church.

Roger Leonard, of Bristol, Tennessee, is the managing director for The Summit Companies. He attends State Street United Methodist Church.

Donna Noland, of Johnson City, is a nurse practitioner and community volunteer. She attends Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Cooper Reaves, of Johnson City, is a junior at Science Hill High School. He attends Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Dan Simerly, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, is the president of Keller Glass. He attends Southside Christian Church.

Brian and Missie Way, of Johnson City, are a physician and community volunteer. They attend First Christian Church.

Two Milligan students also were recognized for their commitment to service.

Hunter Lewis, of Knoxville, was honored for his work with ministries that provide food and basic necessities to families, shut-ins and individuals in need. Lewis has served this population for 12 years with The Empty Stocking Fund and FISH Ministries in Knoxville.

He is a senior business administration major and a member of Milligan’s cross country and track team.

Elinor Mullins, of Lexington, Kentucky, was recognized for her commitment to serving underprivileged children locally and abroad. While at Milligan, she has volunteered with LXI, an at-risk youth ministry based in Johnson City. In addition, she has traveled to Ghana to work with City of Refuge Ministries, a non-profit that supports child victims of forced labor.

She is a senior sociology major and upon graduation, will return to Ghana to work with City of Refuge Ministries.

For more information, contact Milligan’s Institute for Servant Leadership at (423) 461-8316.


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