Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan emphasizes service to honor MLK

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2018) — For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., greatness was reflected through a life of service. In his final sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King shared, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve … You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

This year, Milligan’s observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will extend over five days, Jan. 17-21, and spotlight King’s emphasis on servant-leadership. For the first time, the college will open its commemoration of King with its annual Leaders in Christian Service program.

Students will partner with 10 local organizations to serve the community over four days, Jan. 18-21.

Volunteer activities will include preparing and packing food for those in need, supporting construction projects for low-income families, engaging with children through after-school programs, cleaning up local roadways and trails, and helping local charities with organization and upkeep at their facilities.

“I’m pleased that our students, along with faculty and staff, will join together in the coming days to honor the memory and influence of Martin Luther King through service to the community,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “These service opportunities put Dr. King’s message into action and honor Milligan’s mission of preparing students as servant-leaders.”

Partnering organizations include Camp Bays Mountain, Carter County Proud, Coalition for Kids, Holston Habitat for Humanity, Isaiah 117 House, Niswonger Children’s Hospital, The Melting Pot, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Milligan’s athletics teams will serve at nine volunteer sites, and Goah Diversity Scholars, who help shape campus culture and regularly participate in service projects in the community, will serve on a home build with Holston Habitat for Humanity.


This year, Milligan will recognize nine local leaders, including the program’s first high school recipient, during the college’s annual Leaders in Christian Service program on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Chapel. The service is free and open to the public.

“This program provides our students and community with examples of people who excel at integrating their faith with their profession,” said Greer. “As we reflect on Dr. King’s mission, these individuals offer wonderful examples of what servant-leadership can look like in a variety of professions.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be 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, from Johnson City, Tennessee, Tim Belisle, general counsel for Ballad Health; Boyce Berry, a local pediatrician; Eula Fields, a server at Charley’s; Cay Greer, a community volunteer; Donna Noland, a nurse practitioner and community volunteer; Brian and Missie Way, a physician and community volunteer, respectively; and Cooper Reaves, a junior at Science Hill High. Other honorees include Roger Leonard, of Bristol, Tennessee, managing director for The Summit Companies, and Dan Simerly, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, president of Keller Glass.

Posted by on January 11, 2019.