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Mars Hill University Awards I. Ruth Martin Award for Christian Service to David and Willa Wyatt

Wyatts01David and Willa Wyatt, residents of Mars Hill, have received the I. Ruth Martin Award for Christian Service from Mars Hill University. The award was presented at the university’s Community Service Convocation April 8.

The award was established by I. Ruth Martin, MHC class of 1938, to be given to a Christian individual who has served faithfully without any spotlight recognition.

For many years, the Wyatts have served the community of Mars Hill in various ways, primarily through their church, Mars Hill Baptist. One of their most significant ongoing missions to the community is the church’s backpack program, which they were instrumental in starting and have been active in maintaining. The program gives weekend food to school children throughout Madison County each week. They also started North Carolina’s first rural summer feeding program, which is now in its fifth year. The program gives children 18 and younger a hot meal each weekday throughout the summer.

In the past, the Wyatts coordinated the Baby Love Project through the church, which gave diapers and other necessary baby items to new mothers in the community. They have also been involved in leadership through many boards and committees in the church, including the Board of Missions, Trustees, Finance, Deacons and Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). They currently head the Caring Committee which works with families during times of grief.

The Wyatts are also currently active in a community initiative to revitalize a historic Rosenwald School in Madison County. The project seeks to renovate the school, which was once used to educate African American children in the county, turning it into a community educational center about African American history in the Blue Ridge region.

(MHU Office of Communications / April 24, 2014)