Church remembers couple with endowed scholarship

July 26, 2011

OLTON – First Baptist Church of Olton paid tribute to a young couple who died tragically with an endowed scholarship to help future young people at Wayland Baptist University.

The Lee and Laura Wilkerson Ledesma Memorial Endowed Scholarship was dedicated during the morning worship service at FBC Olton on Sunday, July 10. Director of Corporate Development Mike Melcher was on hand to present the church with a shadow box commemorating the scholarship and representing the bronze plaque that will hang in the McClung University Center. The families of the couple were on hand as well for the dedication, and the church had a potluck lunch after the service.

The scholarship was provided by the church in memory of the Ledesmas, who married in July 1985 just before Laura began her senior year at Wayland. She was children’s music minister at the church and was a member of the International Choir. Lee was a graduate of Texas Tech University and had begun a career in textile engineering at American Cotton Growers in Littlefield.

The couple had moved to Olton in January 1986 and in that same month, they died tragically in a carbon monoxide accident in their home. The International Choir sang the hymn “Come Thou Fount” at the couple’s double funeral.

The scholarship, which benefits a choral student at Wayland, “is intended to honor the memory of this special young couple and the high ideals represented by their lives,” the plaque reads. “Both Laura and Lee believed in the value of education, the beauty of music and the absolute necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ.”

Endowed scholarships are created with a gift of any amount and invested through the Baptist Foundation of Texas. Once the corpus reaches $25,000, it becomes endowed and can begin awarding scholarships for students from the annual interest. The main principal is never touched.

For more information on endowed scholarships, contact the Wayland advancement office at (806) 291-3425.