August 9, 2017 Edition

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Williams receives
$32,500 from estate

Williams Baptist College has established a new scholarship fund following a gift from the estate of the late Mary Frances Speakes of Siloam Springs.

Williams recently received $32,500 from the Speakes estate to be applied toward scholarships for WBC students.

Speakes died last year at the age of 95. Born and raised in Siloam Springs, she taught music at Siloam Springs Elementary School for 42 years, and taught piano lessons for 65 years. She also played the organ at Siloam Springs First Baptist Church for more than half a century.

"Mary had a true servant's heart for God. She gave her life to teaching music in school, at church and in her home. She always encouraged children and students to develop their musical talents for the glory of God and for ministry," said Reece Watson, pastor of worship and music at the church.

"She served as organist at First Baptist Church in Siloam Springs for 55 years before she had to stop playing for health reasons. Fifty-five years of playing two Sunday services, plus revivals and funerals means she played the organ at well over 5,500 worship services at FBC. I can only imagine how many hours she spent in rehearsals and practicing, all for the glory of the Lord!"

Williams has established the Mary Frances Speakes Scholarship Fund in her memory, which will benefit students in need of financial assistance.

"We are deeply grateful to receive such a generous gift from the estate of Ms. Speakes and honored that she would remember Williams Baptist College in this way. It seems incredibly fitting that someone who touched countless students through her life would continue to bless college students through her estate," said Dr. Brett Cooper, vice president for institutional advancement at WBC.

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