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Leaders in Christian Service

The 2020 Leaders in Christian Service ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 11 a.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Memorial Chapel. The service is free and open to the public.

The purpose of the ceremony is to identify professionals and students who are shining examples of Christian leadership in the workplace, community, school, and church.

Do you know someone who is a shining example of Christian leadership beyond the walls of the church? A doctor, a teacher, an artist, a student, a business person — whatever their profession, they advance the cause of Christ and exemplify a stewardship of their life, influence, and resources. Recommend this person as a Leader in Christian Service so that we all may learn from his or her example. Consideration is given to the following three areas:

  • Excellence of Christian character
  • Strong Christian example through professional or vocational leadership
  • Evidence of Christian leadership in the church and community

An independent review committee will review recommendations and select those to be recognized, who will be notified in December.

Those being honored are recognized at a special convocation service in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Memorial Chapel.

Nominations are due by October 18, 2019.

Nominate a Leader in Christian Service »

Nominate a Student Leader »
(must be a current high school junior)

Past Honorees

2019 Honorees

Tim Belisle
Johnson City, Tennessee
General Counsel for Ballad Health
First Christian Church

Boyce Berry
Johnson City, Tennessee
Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church

Eula Fields
Johnson City, Tennessee
Thankful Baptist Church

Cay Greer
Johnson City, Tennessee
Community Volunteer
First Christian Church

Roger Leonard
Bristol, Tennessee
Managing Director for The Summit Companies
State Street United Methodist Church

Donna Noland
Johnson City, Tennessee
Nurse Practitioner/Community Volunteer
Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church

Dan Simerly
Elizabethton, Tennessee
President of Keller Glass
Southside Christian Church

Brian and Missie Way
Johnson City, Tennessee
Physician and Community Volunteer
First Christian Church


Student Honoree

Cooper Reaves
Johnson City, Tennessee
Science Hill High School, Junior
Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church

2018 Honorees

2018 Milligan Leaders in Christian Service

Milligan’s 2018 Leaders in Christian Service: Front, left to right: President Dr. Bill Greer, Bill Alton, Marta Wayt and Judy Ingala; Back, left to right: Herb Greenlee, Guynn Edwards, Darrell Fowler and David Mills

Bill Alton
Johnson City, TN
VP for Facilities at Ballad Health

Guynn Edwards
Johnson City, TN
Executive Director, The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center

Darrell Fowler
Johnson City, TN
Owner/operator, Chick-Fil-A

Herb Greenlee
Johnson City, TN
Director, Carver Park

Judy Ingala
Johnson City, TN
Retired RN and healthcare executive

David Mills
Optometrist, Mills Optometric Associates

Marta Wayt
Kingsport, TN
Physician, Providence Medical Center


Student Honorees

Milligan students honored at 2018 LCS

The students honored for service at Milligan’s Leaders in Christian Service program include seniors Matthew Albritton, Johnson City; Emily Mark, Damascus, Maryland; and Jonathan Russell, Kingsport, Tennessee.

Matthew Albritton, Johnson City, works with the Ministry for Widows at First Christian Church in Johnson City. He is a senior business administration major.

Emily Mark, Damascus, Maryland, works with Families Free. She is a senior business administration and social work major.

Jonathan Russell, Kingsport, works with LXI. He is a senior business administration and economics major.

2017 Honorees

From left to right, bottom row: Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer; Pat Hicks, Elizabethton, retired teacher/administrator; Betsy Beaver, Johnson City, community volunteer and Founder of “The River”; and Jeff Keeling, Johnson City, vice president of communications, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union.

Left to right, top row: Lisa Tipton, Johnson City, executive director, Families Free; Carolyn Kerr, Johnson City, office manager, Outpatient Cytopathology Center; Martha Laws, Johnson City, retired teacher; and Jeff Dykes, Johnson City, CEO, Johnson City Power Board.

Betsy Beaver
Johnson City, TN
Community Volunteer and Founder of “The River”
Attends First Presbyterian Church, Johnson City

Jeff Dykes
Johnson City, TN
CEO, Johnson City Power Board
Attends Southside Christian Church, Elizabethton

Pat Hicks
Elizabethton, TN
Retired Teacher/Administrator
Attends Southside Christian Church, Elizabethton

Jeff Keeling
Johnson City, TN
VP, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union
Attends Grandview Christian Church, Johnson City

Carolyn Kerr
Johnson City, TN
Office Manager, Outpatient Cytopathology Center
Attends Piney Flats Methodist Church

Martha Laws
Johnson City, TN
Retired Teacher
Attends First Baptist Church, Elizabethton

Lisa Tipton
Johnson City, TN
Executive Director, Families Free
Attends Christ Fellowship, Kingsport, TN

2016 Honorees

LCS 2016

First row, left to right: Randy Brewer of Johnson City, Tennessee, is a science teacher and track & field coach at Science Hill High School; William and Catherine Armstrong of Elizabethton, Tennessee, are retired in the field of education; and Milligan University President Dr. Bill Greer.

Second row: Garland “Bubba” Evely of Erwin, Tennessee, is senior vice president at the Bank of Tennessee; Michele King of Johnson City is the director of Care Services at Summit Leadership Foundation.

Third row: Frank Proffitt of Rogersville, Tennessee, is senior vice president and commercial lender at Civis Bank; Dr. William Kennedy of Jonesborough,Tennessee, is a retired physician at Watauga Orthopedics.

Fourth row: Tom Terry of Johnson City is retired from working in the financial and computer technology industry; Charles “Chuck” Huffman of Kingsport, Tennessee, is a partner at Blackburn, Childers and Steagall, Certified Public Accountants.

Fifth row: Chris O’Connor of Jonesborough is a key account manager at ConAgra Foods.

2015 Honorees

leaders of christian service 2015

CAPTION: From top to bottom, left to right: Thurman Walters, of Johnson City; Jeff Clements, of Johnson City; Bill Lizzio, of Johnson City; Trida and Stephen LaHair, of Kingsport, Tennessee; Joe Carr, of Jonesborough, Tennessee; Ed Gibbons of Jonesborough, Tennessee; Charles Nitschke, of Kingsport, Tennessee; Kathy Sanders, of Kingsport, Tennessee; Kyle Colvett, of Johnson City; Tim Morganstern, of Jonesborough, Tennessee; Mary Ann Blessing, of Bristol, Tennessee; and Milligan University President Dr. Bill Greer. (Not pictured: Rebecca Henderson, of Johnson City)

Mary Ann Blessing, of Bristol, Tennessee, is the director of Kingsway Charities. She attends Highlands Fellowship.

Joe Carr, of Jonesborough, Tennessee, is an executive vice president at the Bank of Tennessee. He attends Fairview United Methodist Church.

Jeff Clements, of Johnson City, is a mechanical engineer at Eastman Chemical Company. He attends Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Kyle Colvett, of Johnson City, is a physician at Mountain States Health Alliance. He attends Family Fellowship Church.

Stephen and Trida LaHair, of Kingsport, Tennessee, are the owners of Chef’s Pizzeria and Southern Barbeque. He attends First Baptist of Kingsport.

Ed Gibbons, of Jonesborough, Tennessee, is the owner of Watauga Insurance. He attends Central Baptist Church of Johnson City.

Rebecca Henderson, of Johnson City, is a consultant at Strategic Priorities Consulting. She attends First Christian Church of Johnson City.

Bill Lizzio, of Johnson City, is the owner of Lizzio Development Company. He attends First Christian Church of Johnson City.

Tim Morganstern, of Jonesborough, Tennessee, is a chiropractor at the Jonesborough Chiropractic Clinic. He attends Jonesborough United Methodist Church.

Charles Nitschke, of Kingsport, Tennessee, is the retired director of business organization at Eastman. He attends Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Kingsport.

Kathy Sanders, of Kingsport, Tennessee, is the owner of Tri-Cities Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. She attends Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Kingsport.

Thurman Walters, of Johnson City, is a healthcare technician at James H. Quillen Veterans Administration Medical Center. He attends Friendship Baptist Church.



2014 Honorees


  • Craig Augenstein – Account Executive, Lamar Advertising, Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Emil Messimer – Financial Advisor, Messimer & Associates, First Christian Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Steve Campbell – Vice-President of Business Affairs, Northeast State Community College, Jonesborough United Methodist Church, Jonesborough, Tennessee
  • Elizabeth Patrick – Retired, Carter County School System, Lynn Valley Baptist Church, Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Dale Fair – President/COO, Bank of Tennesse/Carter County Bank, Elizabethton Church of Christ, Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Tanya and Jamin Rathbun – Owners, Trinity Arts Center, Discovery Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Scott Folsom, Region President, TruPoint Bank, Tri-Cities Baptist Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Bob Sluder – Retired, Unisys Corporation, First Christian Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Gary Mabrey – CEO, Chamber of Commerce for JC, Jonesborough, and Washington County, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Nancy Stanton – Community Volunteer, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Robert Mckinney – Engineer, Eastman Chemical Company, Grace Temple Church, Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Andy Wampler – Attorney, Wilson Worley, First Baptist Church, Kingsport, Tennessee

2013 Honorees

Milligan College’s 2013 Leaders in Christian Service include: (front row) Mark Sitter, Tabatha Gonzales, Jennifer Keller, Donna Seaton and Tom Seaton; (middle row) Bill Greer, Jim Heaton, Jeff Keller, Ann O’Quinn and Larry Calhoun; (back row) David Torgerson, Lynn Parker and Thomas Torbett (Not pictured: Phillip Timp).

Milligan University’s 2013 Leaders in Christian Service include: (front row) Mark Sitter, Tabatha Gonzales, Jennifer Keller, Donna Seaton and Tom Seaton; (middle row) Bill Greer, Jim Heaton, Jeff Keller, Ann O’Quinn and Larry Calhoun; (back row) David Torgerson, Lynn Parker and Thomas Torbett (Not pictured: Phillip Timp).

  • Larry Calhoun – Founding Dean, ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, Johnson City, TN
  • Tom and Donna Seaton, Owners, The Firehouse restaurant,
  • Johnson City, TN
  • Tabatha Gonzales– Good Samaritan Ministries, Johnson City, TN
  • Mark Sitter – VinTech Manufacturing, Johnson City
  • Jim Heaton – Retired, Johnson City Schools, Johnson City, TN
  • Phillip Timp – The Beth Foundation, Bristol, VA
  • Jeff and Jennifer Keller – Social Security Administration/Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Johnson City, TN
  • David Torgerson – Retired, Washington County Schools, Gray, TN
  • Ann O’Quinn – Private Piano Teacher, Johnson City, TN
  • Thomas Torbett – Retired, Appalachian Bible Company,
  • Johnson City, TN
  • Lynn Parker – Retired, Eastman Chemical Company, Church Hill, TN

2012 Honorees

LCS Honorees

2012 Honorees

  • Dr. Curt Barnes – orthopaedic surgeon, Appalachian Orthopaedic Associates, Johnson City
  • June Barrett – founder of the Crumley House, Gray
  • Dr. Patricia Bonner – retired professor, Milligan University, Johnson City
  • Jackie Charles – vice-president, First Community Bank, Rogersville
  • Robert Feagins – executive director of communications and development, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport
  • Elizabeth Hughes – retired executive assistant to the president, Mountain States Health Alliance, Unicoi
  • Jim Moore – vice president of facilities, Wellmont Health System, Kingsport
  • Fred Simerly – retired regional operations manager, Coca Cola USA, Johnson City
  • Bonnie White – homeless program educator and coordinator, Johnson City Schools, Elizabethton
  • Robert White – chief public relations officer, Johnson City Power Board, Johnson City

Past Honorees

  • Jeff Aldridge – assistant principal, Science Hill High School, Johnson City
  • Barbara Allen – volunteer
  • Frank Anderson – attorney
  • Dr. Frank and Mrs. Betty Anderson – dentist / volunteer, Johnson City
  • Robbie Anderson – curriculum director, Johnson City Public Schools
  • Wayne Anderson – consultant, WCI, Johnson City
  • Sandy Babel – special education teacher, Science Hill High School, Johnson City
  • Jim Bailey – director of news and public affairs, WKPT TV, Kingsport
  • Stephen Baldwin – director of community development, City of Johnson City, Johnson City
  • Jeff Blackburn, CPA, Blackburn, Childers and Steagall, Johnson City
  • Dr. Ronald Blackmore – physician, Blue Ridge Family Medicine, Johnson City
  • Jeanette Blazier – mayor, Kingsport
  • Dr. Jim Brantner – chairman of board & chief surgeon, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
  • Paul and Betty Brown – Paul: internal medicine specialist with Johnson City Internal Medicine; Betty: author, educator, consultant
  • Jeff Brunson, corporate leadership coach, Basic Approach, Jonesborough
  • Tim Burchfield – franchise owner, Chick-Fil-A, Johnson City
  • Doris Hart Bush – executive director, Greater Kingsport Area United Way; founder, Trust Works Consulting, Kingsport
  • Jeff and Claudia Byrd – president, Bristol Motor Speedway / director, Speedway Childrens Charities, Bristol, TN
  • Linda Wilson Calvert – dean of community education, Northeast State Community College, Kingsport
  • Bob Cantler – general manager, General Morgan Inn, Greeneville
  • Phil Carriger, banking (retired), Johnson City
  • Tom Chase – addiction counselor (retired), Woodridge Mental Health; Board Member, Mountain States Health Alliance Foundation, Jonesborough
  • Joel Conger – owner, Mauk’s of Jonesborough, Jonesborough
  • Cliff Corker – attorney
  • Mitch Cox – owner, Mitch Cox Development Group; founder, Coalition for Kids, Johnson City
  • Bill Darden, Jr. – senior pharmaceutical consultant, P&G pharmaceuticals, Johnson City
  • Bill Derby – publisher, News & Neighbor
  • Janie Dosser – RN (retired), Mountain States Health Alliance, Johnson City
  • Mike Eastridge – attorney
  • David Eunson – Unicoi County High School teacher
  • Jeff Farrow – physician, Pulmonary Associates of East Tennessee, Johnson City
  • Teri Ferguson – coordinator, Parish Nursing Program, Mountain States Health Alliance
  • Mike Forrester – program director, Coalition for Kids
  • Bob Garrett – president, Atlanta Investments, Inc., Johnson City
  • Homer G’Fellers – general manager, Johnson City Power Board, Jonesborough
  • Ike Gibson – retired, Hancock County Department of Human Services; volunteer, Of One Accord Ministries, Sneedville
  • Joanne Gilmer – retired, General Shale Corporation, Johnson City
  • Keith Glover – Human Resources Employee Training and Development Manager,  East Tennessee State University
  • Sam and Sally Greer – Sam: retired plant manager of Mayfield Dairy Farms, now active community volunteer; Sally: active community volunteer
  • Polkie Gregory – special education teacher (retired), Johnson City School System; volunteer, Special Olympics, Johnson City
  • Dr. Dana Grist, optometrist and owner, Family Eye Care Center, Johnson City
  • Tommy Greer, CPA, Blackburn, Childers and Steagall, Johnson City
  • Stella Gudger – president, Price Public Community Center, Rogersville
  • Bill Hawkins – retired chairman and CEO, General Shale
  • Elizabeth Ann Hay – professor (retired), King University; founder, Holston Habitat for Humanity, Kingsport
  • Don Hill – owner and CEO, Toyota of Kingsport
  • Patricia Holtsclaw – president, Mountain States Foundation, Elizabethton
  • Tom Hornsby – consultant, VisionWorks, LLC
  • David Howard – chief financial officer, Johnson City Power Board, Johnson City
  • Patricia Huffman – certified public accountant
  • Frank Jarret – retired management, J. I. Cornett Construction Company
  • Lisa Jones – motivational speaker; founder, Cracked Pot Ministries, Bristol
  • George Karnes – dentist, TMJ Treatment Clinic
  • Dr. Michael Kimbro, physician and missionary to Peru, Mountain City
  • Tom Krieger, retired, Fleming Foods
  • Joe Knisley – pharmacist and owner; West Towne Pharmacy, Johnson City
  • Bobbie Kay Lewis – financial analyst, East TN State University’s Clemmer College of Education, Elizabethton
  • Fred Lewis – vice president for information technology, Northeast State Technical College, Johnson City
  • Bill and Kathy Linebarger – endodontist and Community Volunteer, Johnson City
  • Sheldon Livesay – executive director, One Accord Ministries, Rogersville
  • Odie Major – regional president, SunTrust Bank, Johnson City
  • Danny Matthews – vice president, Summers-Taylor, Johnson City
  • Stephen May – physician, Elizabethton
  • John Melton – senior VP and CEO, Washington County Operations, MSHA, Johnson City
  • Carolyn Miller – director, Bridge Refugee Service
  • Creola Miller – director (retired), Head Start Program, Carter County School System, Elizabethton
  • Donald Minor – HIV/AIDS educator, CVS/Caremark, Johnson City
  • Mattie Mullins, retired teacher, Johnson City
  • Terry and Patty Muse – financial advisor and office manager, New York Life, Johnson City
  • Russell Nelson, business development manager, Energy Systems Group, Johnson City
  • Dr. John O’Dell – director, Sullivan County Schools
  • Tom Parker – principal, Holston View Elementary, Bristol, VA
  • Trish Patterson – director, Hands On! Museum, Piney Flats
  • Dr. Connie Pennington – physician, Pennington Colon and Rectal Associates, Johnson City
  • Fernando De Sousa Pereira – ESL interpreter, Johnson City Schools, Jonesborough
  • Brian Ponder – Ponder’s Auto Repair
  • Dennis T. Powell – former owner of Dennis Powell Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge, Johnson City
  • Dr. Ron E. Proffitt, president, Virginia Highlands Community College, Abingdon
  • Ed Robinson – director, Moody Aviation
  • Brian Rosecrance – executive director, Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Lottie Ryans – director, customer service operations, TN/VA, Sprint
  • Dr. David Schilling, physician, Church Hill Free Medical Clinic, Kingsport
  • Denise Sibley, M.D. – physician, Wellspring Healthcare, Johnson City
  • Bobby Snyder – Daniel Boone High School basketball coach
  • Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr., president emeritus, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City
  • Joel Stauffer – chaplain, Elizabethton Police
  • Jim Stewart – owner, Stewart and Associates, Kingsport
  • David Temple – president, Saratoga Technologies, Johnson City
  • Kathy Torgerson, church secretary, Central Church of Christ; founder, Down But Not Out, Johnson City
  • Carol Transou – history teacher
  • John Vann – president and CEO, Clinical Trial Management Services
  • Dennis Vonderfecht – president and CEO, Mountain States Health Alliance
  • Bill Walker – principal, Rogersville City Schools, Rogersville
  • Marcy Walker – Johnson City School Board
  • Doyle Walters – general manager, Johnson City Power Board
  • Carlyle Walton – president/CEO, Takoma Adventist Hospital
  • Mark Webb, Dentist, Webb Dentistry, Bristol, TN
  • Dr. Brent Welch, Physician, Gastrointestinal Associates, Johnson City
  • Kathryn Wilhoit – vice president/CNO, Mountain States Health Alliance
  • Clem Wilkes – financial advisor/stockbroker, Raymond James Citizens Investments
  • Peggy Willocks – principal (retired), Elizabethton City Schools; Parkinson’s Disease, advocate and leader, Johnson City
  • Ambers Wilson, Jr. – owner, Masengil’s Specialty Shop, Johnson City
  • Calvin L. Wilson, Jr. – financial advisor, UBS financial services, Johnson City
  • Laura Steel Woods – vice president of legal affairs, Care Centers Management Consulting, Inc., Johnson City

Nomination Checklist

This checklist is provided for your own use. You do not need to turn it in with your nomination.

Download a printable checklist »

I. Eligibility

☐ The nominator (the person filling out the application) is NOT a family member of the nominee.
☐ The nominee is NOT employed by Milligan University or Emmanuel Christian Seminary.
☐ The nominee is NOT serving in a pastoral role or is employed by a church or place of worship.

II. Materials Needed

☐ Cover Letter from Nominator

☐ Mailed
☐ Uploaded online

☐ A biographical sketch or resume of the Nominee

☐ Mailed
☐ Uploaded online

☐ A reference letter from the Nominee’s Minister

☐ Mailed
☐ Uploaded online

☐ A reference letter from a professional colleague of the Nominee

☐ Mailed
☐ Uploaded online

☐ Additional information, up to two items have been included (optional)

☐ Mailed
☐ Uploaded online

III. Mailing Address

Items can be mailed to:

Institute for Servant Leadership
Milligan University
PO Box 500
Milligan, TN 37682

Download a printable checklist »

Nomination Form

Step 1 of 3

  • Nominator Profile

    Please tell us about yourself - the person who is submitting this nomination.