Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan honors MLK through service

Leaders in Christian Service awards

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2020) — 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.”

Milligan’s observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will extend over five days, Jan. 16-20, and spotlight King’s emphasis on servant-leadership. The college will open its commemoration with its annual Leaders in Christian Service program.

Milligan students will volunteer with multiple local organizations including Appalachia Service Project, Camp Bays Mountain, Coalition for Kids, Holston Habitat for Humanity and the Melting Pot.

Their involvement will include preparing and packing food for those in need, supporting construction projects for low-income families, engaging with children through after-school programs, 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 Jr. through service to our community,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “These service opportunities put King’s message into action and honor Milligan’s mission of preparing students as servant-leaders.”

The men’s athletic teams will participate in a food-packing event at Boones Creek Christian Church, 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 12 local leaders during the college’s annual Leaders in Christian Service program on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Chapel. The service is free and open to the public.

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

This year’s keynote speaker will be Ronda Paulson, founder and executive director of Isaiah 117 House.

Paulson, of Elizabethton, founded Isaiah 117 House to provide physical and emotional support for children awaiting foster care placement. Isaiah 117 provides a home where children receive comfort and care while DCS staff work towards foster placement. The flagship Isaiah 117 home is located in Carter County, Tennessee, and additional homes have been established in Washington and Greene Counties. Isaiah 117 plans to develop a home in every county across Tennessee. Paulson, who holds an undergraduate degree from Milligan, served as the college’s spirit coordinator for 13 years prior to launching Isaiah 117.

The 2020 Leaders in Christian Service honorees include the following Johnson City residents: Adam Crouch, financial advisor at LPL Financial; Todd Fowler, physician with Watauga Orthopaedics; Pete Headley, a retired insurance professional; Karl and Anna Kapoor, veterinarian at Pinecrest Veterinary Clinic and nurse, respectively; Mary Ellen Miller, community relations strategist for the Tennessee Valley Authority; Allan Renfro, architect for SPEC Corporation; and Sarah Smith; a junior in high school. Other honorees include Jeff Idell, of Greeneville, owner of Idell Construction; Michael Lattier, of Kingsport, attorney at Hunter, Smith and Davis; and Kelly and Jennifer Wolfe, of Jonesborough, owners of Wolfe Development.

For more information, contact Milligan’s Institute for Servant Leadership at 423.461.8316.

Posted by on January 8, 2020.