Morningstar International Ministry offering college scholarship to area student

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 22, 2014 

The Bertha Smith Memorial Scholarship will go to a high school senior in Columbus or Phenix City to attend a university in South Carolina.

When Jerry Scarborough, founder of Morningstar International Ministry, decided to create a college scholarship, he never had any doubt whose name it would bear.

The Bertha Smith Memorial Scholarship will go to a high school senior from Columbus or Phenix City who wishes to attend Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C. The motto at the university is "To Know Him and Make Him Known."

Scarborough described it as a "dynamic multidenominational Christian higher education institution dedicated to preparing Christians to serve God with excellence."

He said Smith was fond of the university because so many "preacher boys and missionaries" came out of it.

Smith, who died just short of her 100th birthday in 1988, was a longtime missionary to China. She was also the Southern Baptist Convention's first missionary to Taiwan.

"I believe I started 10 churches in Taiwan," Smith said in an 1988 interview with Fulness magazine. "Miss Bertha," as she was known, served overseas for 42 years. She returned to the United States at age 70 and founded Peniel Prayer Center in Cowpens, S.C.

Scarborough said Smith influenced many well-known Christian ministers such as Charles Stanley, Bailey Smith and Adrian Rogers.

She wrote the books "Go Home and Tell," "How the Spirit Filled My Life" and "Our Lost World."

Both Scarborough, a Phenix City certified public accountant, and the Rev. David Howle, pastor of Ladonia Baptist in Phenix City, served on Smith's board at Penial Prayer Center. Scarborough was also her accountant.

"Even in her 90s she could still outwalk me," he said.

The scholarship will go toward the student's first year of college. Scarborough doesn't know the amount of the award, but he said the goal is $15,000. He is hoping it will be an annual grant.

A student can request a financial aid application by calling 334-480-2080. Applications must be returned by May 1 and the recipient will be announced on May 20.

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