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Lloyd Presbyterian Church announces essay contest winners

Six of eight winners presented their essays on Nov. 16 at Lloyd Presbyterian Church.

Lloyd Presbyterian Church announces essay contest winners
November 27
13:54 2019

What has Jesus done for me?

Lloyd Presbyterian Church (LPC) asked students from middle school to college to consider that question in its Mark 5:20 Essay Scholarship event.  All entries were due by October 1. 

Rev. Laura Spangler, pastor of Lloyd Presbyterian Church, said 12 youths accepted the challenge with eight of them earning a total of $2,000 in cash awards and the opportunity to read their essays in a public program.

Six of the eight winners presented their essays to a rapt audience of church members, families and friends Saturday, Nov. 16.  The other two, who were unable to attend due to their involvement in a school play, offered their essays during the Sunday morning service at LPC.

The winners and their awards are:

$500 Winners:

*Isabella Gilmore, age 19, Leon’s Beauty School

*Loc Nguyen, age 15, Calvary Day School

*Ja’Mari Ross-Divine, age 11, Ephesus Junior academy

$100 Winners:

*Mary Goodine, age 17, Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy

*Katie Mills, age 17, Calvary Day School

*Kelly Mills, age 15, Calvary Day School

*Terrell Robinson, Jr., age 15, Mount Tabor High School

*Moncenya Pettigrew, age 14, John F. Kennedy High School

Kashyah Ross-Divine, a fourth grader at Griffith Elementary School, read for her brother, Ja’Mari, who is recovering from pneumonia.

Each young person recounted experiences of family challenges and triumphs, personal illness and healing, general anguish and endurance, and pure praise and testimony. Some listeners were teary-eyed and awestruck as they heard how the readers depend on their faith to get through difficult times and how much they love and appreciate Jesus as their Savior and friend.

Dr. Dennis W. Bishop, senior pastor of First Waughtown Baptist Church, said he was stirred by the students’ essays and encouraged by their professions of faith. He even asked the four winners from First Waughtown – Goodine, Pettigrew, Robinson, and Ross-Divine – to present their essays during Sunday’s 10:45 a.m. youth service.

Rev. Spangler says she was inspired to sponsor the event after a conversation with her sister about a contest entitled “What has soccer done for me?” involving her niece. “I thought, ‘Hey, we can do that to lift up the name of Jesus,’” she said. Rev. Spangler decided to ask, instead, “What has Jesus done for me?”  based on Mark 5:20, a passage that tells of a man who was healed of demon possession and then went forth to proclaim the amazing story of what Jesus had done for him. 

Rev. Spangler credited Rachel Jackson, Jone Reid, and Stan Senft for helping to plan and implement the contest, and Purity Ruchugo and Debbie Senft for assisting with advertising. All of them attended the program to congratulate the young people and meet their families.

Rev. Spangler and her husband, Dr. Tom Spangler, funded the What Has Jesus Done for Me? contest from personal retirement funds. They welcome donations to make the competition an annual event. Donations may be sent to Lloyd Presbyterian Church, 748 N. Chestnut Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Please note Mark 5:20 Essay in the memo line.

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