06/15/07 — Endowment fund for ministerial students started at Mount Olive

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Endowment fund for ministerial students started at Mount Olive

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 15, 2007 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- An endowment scholarship fund for ministerial students has been created at Mount Olive College in honor of a pastor's love and dedication to MOC.

Dr. Billy R. and Virginia B. Yawn moved their two children to Mount Olive in the spring of 1957. With only 35 cents in his pocket, Yawn enrolled at the college and began a lifelong journey of learning.

Mrs. Yawn supported her husband's ministry by helping with research for term papers and sermons while working in the college cafeteria.

"This couple actually had nothing when they came to MOC," said Jean Ackiss, director of church support at MOC. "He was a student and she worked in the dining hall to help support him. All these years he was so grateful for what the college did for him and he supported us well. Each church he pastored, without exception, increased their giving when he went there. I know of no ministerial student who has attended MOC who was more grateful and expressed his gratitude any more than Billy Yawn did."

Yawn continued his education at Atlantic Christian College, completing his bachelor's degree before obtaining a master's degree from East Carolina University, an honorary doctorate from Victory Bible College in Lewiston, Ohio; and his doctor of religious education from International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida.

An ordained Original Free Will Baptist minister for 42 years, he was responsible for influencing more than 25 people who entered the ministry. He also taught for 31 years in the Johnston County school system.

The couple's daughter, LaVern Yawn Carter, initiated the gift that will bear her parents' name and promote higher Christian education. Students majoring in music ministry are also eligible for the scholarship funding.