Rawlin Kegley, a senior at Anderson University majoring in youth ministries, from Brookville, Ohio, was recently selected as the 2013 recipient of the Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith Endowed Christian Education Scholarship Award. The $5,300 scholarship was presented to Kegley on April 8 by the Department of Religious Studies during a luncheon in the Olt Student Center.
The purpose of the scholarship is to support, enhance, and promote the academic study of Christian education and assist Christian education student scholars in their academic work as they prepare for careers and lives of service in the academy, the church, and the world.
[Photo: Rawlin Kegley (center) is pictured with his parents (on left), Rev. Timothy Kegley '80 MRE '85 and Ronda Kegley '80, Christie Smith Stephens BA '65, and Dr. Stanley Stephens BA '65, professor emeritus of mathematics.]
"Rawlin has taken seriously the challenges of his academic work," said Dr. Alan Overstreet, associate professor of Christian education/ministry and chair of the Department of Religious Studies. "He has worked to understand the ministry context in which he has served while also addressing its needs in light of his experience, his course work, and the practices of ministry in which he has been engaged."
Kegley was a member of the Anderson University baseball team and participated in intramural sports and Bible studies on campus. He volunteered at Eastside Church of God and served as a hall chaplain during his junior year. He also participated in Operation Foundation, a student-led organization that serves the Anderson community. He plans to pursue seminary after graduation while pursuing a youth ministry position in the Church of God.
"I am completely humbled to have been selected as the recipient of this scholarship," said Kegley. "I consider it a high honor and I am extremely grateful to the families involved in helping make it possible for me to pursue further education. The generosity of those involved has gone a long way in helping not only me, but others in the past, and I am excited to be a part of such a prestigious group. I hope that I can be a faithful steward of their gift and in turn make a faithful impact and be a blessing in the lives of others."
[Photo, from left: Dr. Alan Overstreet, associate professor of Christian education/ministry; Rawlin Kegley; Dr. Merle Strege, professor of historical theology; and Sheila MacMurray, office manager in the Department of Religious Studies.]
Originally from Alabama, Billie Roy Smith felt a call to ministry in 1946 and moved with Pearl and their young daughter to Anderson, Ind., where he enrolled at Anderson University. Pearl supported the family by working second shift at Guide Lamp. The family attended Park Place Church of God where Pearl was touched by the teaching of Carl Kardatzke in their Sunday school class. Kardatzke’s classes created a desire in Pearl to study Christian education, and she decided to take several classes sponsored by the Church of God. Over the years, Pearl taught Sunday school and served on the state board of Christian education for the Alabama Women of the Church of God.
In 1996 Billie Roy Smith, B. Th. ’49, honored the life and memory of his wife of 54 years, Pearl Toon Smith, by endowing a Christian education lectureship. From 1997 to 2007 renowned Christian education scholars and practitioners presented lectures and discussions in their areas of expertise to university students, faculty, pastors, church leaders, and others interested in the field of Christian education. In 2007 the Smith and Stephens family converted the lecture series into an endowed scholarship honoring the stewardship and the dedicated and faithful Christian lives and ministries of both Billie Roy and Pearl Toon Smith.
Past recipients of the scholarship award include Xen Riggs, Hannah Adams Ingram, Suzanne (Drayer) Kellam, Keith Sayer, and Daniel Kelsey.
“The generous vision of the Smith and Stephens families has contributed significantly to Christian education for several years,” said Overstreet. “The lecture series was of great benefit to all who shared in it, and the scholarship award provides ongoing support to students in their academic and ministry careers. The Department of Religious Studies appreciates deeply this support and the fruit that it bears.”
To learn how you can support student achievement through endowed scholarships at Anderson University, contact the Office of Development.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.