Scholarship honors former lawmaker's legacy

A long-time North Carolina lawmaker's legacy lives on through a seminary scholarship.

Representative William Wainwright of Havelock died of cancer almost two years ago.

He was speaker pro tempore of the NC House and an ordained minister.

As an elder in the AME Zion Church, Wainwright presided over churches in four Eastern Carolina counties, including Craven County.

Church leaders say he left a sizeable amount of money to the North Carolina Conference of the AME Zion Church, which allowed them to establish a scholarship fund in his honor.

The $2500 scholarships help preachers with the cost of attending Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury.

Rev. Erlinda Dobson says attending seminary can cost $50,000 in some cases, so the scholarships can help with books and travel costs.   

"It is a sacrifice," Rev. Dobson said. "And so knowing that an individual will go and sharpen their tools in ministry and community, then we wanted to make sure that we could help them if they are a member of the North Carolina Conference."

A banquet will be held in New Bern Saturday night to raise money for the scholarship fund.

It will also include a tribute to Wainwright.

Four scholarships have been awarded so far to two recipients.

Both of them will deliver speeches at the banquet.

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