Love Charity Alms recognizes local graduates

Pastor emphasizes staying faithful to God as success

WARREN — Local high school graduates were recognized for their accomplishments with scholarships and also an important message of “success in God’s eyes.”

The Love Charity Alms third annual Martha J. Hill scholarship banquet was held at Enzo’s Restaurant where the Martha J. Hill Scholarship recipients were Jessica L. Bumgarner of Ashtabula Lakeside High School; Gianna A. Jones and Celeste A. Harris, both of Warren G. Harding High School; and family member award recipient Michael Hill of Lakeview High School.

Pastor Todd Johnson of Second Baptist Church said the recipients each have accomplished much as they head to college.

“This award reflects your achievements that you have already made in your life to this point. You have already earned it and that is what makes you a success. I am sure you have more success to come and a whole lot more to do,” he said.

He said with any success in life there is stress. Johnson said for some, success is being prosperous and well known.

“It is important to stay faithful and set goals. Most successful people in God’s eyes are not always successful in man’s eyes. In the biblical definition it is the one who has set their heart to follow what God wants. In God’s success it also may not be what is the most popular,” Johnson said.

He said in life people will face conflict with others and with themselves.

“Getting to the place where God wants you is most important. There will be challenges in your life as you reach those goals,” he said.

Johnson, who said he is the among the youngest pastors in Warren, said too often people get comfortable with the way things are.

“There is a problem we call ‘small town syndrome’ where people get comfortable and like things the way they are,” he said.

Johnson said people need to go out from their home and find what they want in life.

“God has a way of getting our attention before people can distract us. He calls us when we are trying to figure out who we are. With life God will help you through stress in reaching success,” Johnson said.

The graduates each shared their stories.

Bumgarner will attend Case Western Reserve University and then law school for international law. Jones plans to attend Youngstown State University. Harris plans to attend Howard University. Hill will attend Cleveland State University for software engineering.

Marvin Hill, vice president of Love Charity Alms, said the nonprofit faith-based organization created in 2006 was inspired to help people going through a crisis.

Martha Hill founded and organized a group of members who have taken a stand to make a difference to help family, friends and others in the community.

Marvin Hill said Love Charity Alms is committed to bringing people together and helping and assisting those in crisis situations.

To date, LCA has given away 28 Martha Hill Scholarship awards to students.