People of Faith: May 5, 2017

Lydia Sullinger, center, receives the Nancy McDonald Wood Scholarship from Nancy Wood, left, and her daughter, Bryn Wood Bagwell, right.

Sullinger named Nancy Wood Scholar

Lydia Sullinger of Danville has been named the recipient of the Nancy McDonald Wood Scholarship for 2017-18. Bryn Wood Bagwell and Nancy M. Wood presented the $4,500 scholarship to the high school senior during the April 23 worship service in Sullinger’s home church, First UMC Danville.

The daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Thomas Sullinger, Sullinger plans to enroll at Hendrix College in the fall with the intent to study pre-law and become a civil rights attorney.

The Nancy McDonald Wood scholarship is awarded annually to an Arkansan United Methodist young woman who has demonstrated a commitment to historic Methodist values in her service to her local church and to the community. She must have a strong academic record and a history of volunteer efforts. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage young women to continue lifelong lay service in a United Methodist congregation. Scholarship funds are managed by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas.

In her application, Sullinger expressed the hope that her church will continue to follow John Wesley’s “Rules for Living” by fighting hunger to help the population of Danville. Letters of recommendation for Sullinger stressed her participation in a local food distribution mission, “Food on the Mountain,” and her church backpack food program for students in need. She has been a cheerleader and a member of the Danville High School band, serving as the low brass section leader. She also has co-chaired the Quiz Bowl team and played softball. Her high ACT score was validated by an all-A transcript.

Interested applicants for the 2018-19 year may obtain a copy of the Nancy McDonald Wood Scholarship application through their local United Methodist youth minister or the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries website, Applications will be available in the fall and will be due by Jan. 31, 2018.

John Mohead, a United Methodist whose restaurant received the 2016 Business of the Year Award, and the Rev. Mike Wilkie, recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, received their honors at an April 11 Phillips County Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Wilkie receives Phillips County Citizen of the Year award

The Rev. Mike Wilkie, pastor of First United Methodist Church Helena for the past four years, received the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award from the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce at their 81st annual banquet on April 11, 2017.

Wilkie was recognized for his active spiritual and secular community involvement throughout Phillips County, and especially in Helena-West Helena. With an increase in membership and attendance, he has brought Helena FUMC more into community involvement through membership in the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce; Main Street, an organization dedicated to the preservation and renovation of Cherry Street, the “Main Street” of Helena; and encouraging the church become a sponsor of the of King Biscuit Blues Fest, the Southbound Music Festival and the Freeman Playground.

A Rotarian, Wilkie is also a board member and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce; a board member of Main Street; part of the operations staff of King Biscuit Blues Fest; secretary and one of the organizers of the Helena-West Helena Regional Ministerial Fellowship; trustee of the board of Warfield Concerts; the Phillips County Disaster Services representative for the Red Cross; president of the newly re-organized Crime Stoppers; and a volunteer in many other community activities, including being Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for church, school, civic and private events.

Other United Methodists attending the banquet included the Rev. Mark Norman, superintendent of the Southeast District; Scott Post, vice-chancellor for student services at Phillips County Community College of UA, who presented the award; State Senator Keith Ingram; and John Mohead, owner of Southbound Pizza, which received the 2016 Business of the Year Award.

Wilkie and his wife, Nancy, are looking forward to at least another year appointed to ministry through First UMC Helena, even as he transitions to retired status at Annual Conference in June.