By Jackie Hampton,
Baccalaureate service at College Hill was a bitter sweet celebration because as high school students, college students and others receiving advanced degrees were being recognized and scholarships were being awarded, the College Hill family was aware that this was the last Sunday that Brandon Mitchell would be serving as music director at College Hill.
Mitchell was given a farewell reception Saturday at College Hill where well-wishers congratulated him as he embarks on a totally new spiritual service career.
Mitchell will be travelling nationally and internationally with his ministry ‘Brandon Mitchell & Singers with a Purpose.’ He will also be working as director of operations for an international ministry, which will be officially announced June 1, 2019. Until then, Mitchell is under a confidentiality agreement regarding the announcement.
Denise Griffin, who serves as secretary at College Hill, recognized each of the graduates and their accomplishments. She commended them for their many achievements and reminded them that the College Hill family will continue to expect great things from them. All of the graduates received gifts from the church family. On behalf of all the graduates, Paige Reeves, a graduate of Alabama A & M University, expressed thanks to the College Hill family for teaching, motivating and supporting them throughout their spiritual and educational journey.
This year marked the tenth year that College Hill has presented R.E. Willis Scholarship awards to high school graduating seniors. He believed in the power of education and established a library at the church while serving as pastor.
The scholarship committee and Pastor Michael T. Williams presented four scholarship awards. The recipient of the first place award in the amount of $1,500 was given to Clay Morris, a cum laude graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. The second place award in the amount of $1,200 was presented to KeShaun Markell Blackmon, a Terry High School athletic standout. The third place award in the amount of $700 was given to John Coleman Hall Jr., an honors graduate of Terry High School. A Book stipend in the amount of $400 was awarded to Candace Mayfield, an honors graduate of Forest High School. The students were selected based on grade point average, ACT scores, participation in school, church and community activities, essays on why they chose the school they plan to attend, and letters of recommendation from school officials.
As service ended, members and friends continued to give congratulations and gifts to the graduates. They also thanked Mitchell for his outstanding service as music director. Pastor Williams said, “there will never be another Brandon Mitchell.” He stated that he had known for a long time that Mitchell would not be at College Hill very long because he would be given a higher calling to serve God.
Mitchell is well known throughout the state and beyond for his outstanding talent as a gospel singer, songwriter and musician.
See photos on page 4.