MEMPHIS — Mary Owens is all about higher education.
Take, for instance, how some 2 ½ decades ago, Owens, a longtime member of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ in Memphis, had become engaged in what was a pretty enthralling conversation with a few individuals during a women’s trip.
As Owens recalls, that’s when the notable concept of establishing a church scholarship fund had arose.
“I put forth the challenge while talking across the aisle of the bus to the women that were in hearing distance,” Owens told Making Headline News this week. “We agreed that having a scholarship fund for our graduates would be great. And I said the one to establish it should be Lou Hoskin.”
Hoskin, a former member of Faith Temple, consequently served as director of the scholarship ministry for a number of years. Owens, meanwhile, has been director since 2005 and, come Sunday, she and rest of the FTMC membership will celebrate the Scholarship Fund’s 25th year of existence during a special worship service at 10 a.m. at 5191 Elvis Presley Boulevard.
A licensed evangelist, Sunday School teacher, trustee member, the Reading Enhancement Program director as well as advisor for the Children’s Church, Owens admittedly finds great pleasure in overseeing a ministry that was officially established in 1992, in large part because witnessing high school graduates become the beneficiaries of monies raised by the church serves as a precursor, of sorts, to higher educational excellence.
“It’s an awesome and challenging job working with young people,” Owens, a full-time Mid-South-area realtor, said. “I have been working with young people for many years at Faith Temple. That’s my ministry to teach and train the next generation.”
As for the feeling that comes with contributing mightily to the future of those who have fulfilled the essential requirements to earn a scholarship, Owens emphasized that while playing such a role is what she deems as “just a start,” she is especially grateful whenever recipients accomplish such a feat as what will unfold Sunday as they prepare to make the lofty transition from high school to college.
“(We’re) calling, texting, making sure they can get a way to the church, encouraging them to keep God first always,” Owens said of the committee’s efforts in aiding youngsters to meet the church-mandated requirements for scholarships. “Also, the sky is the limit in Jesus Christ.”
While celebrating its Scholarship Ministry for 25 years of dedicatory service, Faith Temple will welcome its newest recipients for the Class of 2017.
Acquiring scholarships this year will be Bolton High’s Kenneth Clancy, Houston High’s Alonzo Grant IV, and Germantown High’s Jordan Wright.
Clancy and Grant IV will enroll at nearby Southwest Tennessee Community College this fall. Wright has yet to decide on a school.
When asked what is so special about how FTMC has kept its Scholarship Ministry active for such a lengthy period of time, Owens credited Andrew Jackson, Sr., the church’s founder who served as Senior Pastor for 47 years until his retirement last June.
A native of Grady, Arkansas, Jackson, Sr. founded Faith Temple in 1969. His son, Ivory Jackson, Sr., is the current Senior Pastor, the church’s second since its inception.
FOLLOW FAITH TEMPLE: https://www.ftmc.us/
“The reason for the longevity I think is (because of) our founder, whom you know believes in educating us in the word and he wants our young people to excel in higher learning,” Owens said. “Also the scholarship committee — present and past — are still working to keep it going. Last but not least, the Faith Temple Ministries Church family keeps giving and we give great thanks to them all.”
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Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.