Celebrating John Lewis

Celebrating John Lewis

The John Lewis Scholarship

On February 21, 2022, Georgia State University announced the creation of a new endowed scholarship that honors the life and legacy of long-time U.S. Representative and civil rights icon Rev. John Lewis.

First proposed by Decatur First United Methodist member and Georgia State University Principal Senior Lecturer and alumnus Michael Paul Black, the John Lewis Scholarship was created to honor Rep. Lewis’s life and impact.

“The Decatur First United Methodist community valued Rep. Lewis’s faith-based leadership for years, and after his death and the racial protests of the summer of 2020, we — as a majority white congregation — began to ask, ‘What is our next faithful step in addressing racial injustice?’” said Rev. Dalton Rushing, senior pastor, Decatur First United Methodist.

Wholly funded through donations from Decatur First United Methodist Church members, the John Lewis Scholarship will be awarded annually beginning in Spring 2023.

“While no individual step is sufficient, our church’s lay leadership felt supporting Georgia State’s African American Male Initiative was a natural step and one where we could make an impact.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, individuals must be participants in My Brother’s Keeper (Georgia State’s program in the University System of Georgia’s African American Male Initiative (AAMI)), be in good academic standing, and demonstrate financial need.

“The impact of this program and the John Lewis Scholarship will go beyond our students’ years at Georgia State as they work to become the next generation of leaders for service, justice, and equality.”  - Bernard McCrary, director of Black Student Achievement.