Three join Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame
Special to the Enquirer
The Morgan County Schools Foundation has announced the 2021 inductee class for the Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame.
The 2021 inductees are Junior Hill of Hartselle, George Mills of Decatur and John H. Willis of Somerville.
In an effort to promote a culture of leadership and character-building within the community and schools, the foundation will hold its Sixth Annual Leadership Hall of Fame induction banquet, and ceremonies took place April 15 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Decatur.
Hill is a Southern Baptist evangelist who began his ministry at the age of 19. He served as a pastor for 11 years in Alabama and Mississippi before entering vocational evangelism in 1967.
A native of Hartselle, Hill is recognized nationally and internationally for his humanitarian efforts. He has served as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and in 1995 he was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has conducted more than 1,800 revivals and numerous foreign crusades. In addition, he is a frequent speaker at pastors’ meetings, evangelism conferences, seminaries and state conventions across the country.
Hill is an influential author and an internationally renowned Christian leader.
Mills, of Decatur, is a distinguished War World II veteran, serving in the 28th Infantry Division of the United States Army.
Captured at the Battle of the Bulge, Mills was declared a Nazi POW and MIA in 1945. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He is also a recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge, the French Croix de Guerre and the French Jubilee Medal.
He is a founding member of the Military Order of Purple Heart and served as a French Ambassador to the French Legion of Honor in 2006.
Today, Mills serves as a motivational speaker and an ROTC and JROTC Mentor.
Willis is a native of Morgan County. He is considered a visionary civic leader as the founding member of the Cotaco Volunteer Fire Department in 1972. He served as fire chief for the CVFD from 1972–1996.
Willis is also the founder of the Firefighters Association of Morgan County and served as president in 1976, serving as a member from 1976–1996.
He was named Mason of the Year by the Alabama Grande Lodge in 2016.
The Morgan County Schools Foundation also recognized other award recipients during the celebration of leadership: The 2021 Corporate Leader of the Year award was presented to Pepsi of Decatur. The 2021 Community Leader of the Year award was presented to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. The 2021 Student Leadership Scholarships winners were Sydnee Fitzgerald of Falkville High School and Kendall Morrison of Priceville High School.
“This idea was born out of the Foundation’s desire to promote leadership in a way that our entire community can see people being celebrated who have made a difference,” said Kerrick Whisenant, vice president of the foundation. “We hope our students would aspire to follow these leaders and be leaders themselves.”
Inductees into the Hall of Fame are nominated by the committee based on their connection to Morgan County and the leadership qualities attributed to them. A nominee’s induction is confirmed by the Foundation board.
The Morgan County Schools Foundation was created in 2011 as an autonomous non-profit entity to promote leadership and academic excellence in Morgan County Schools. The Foundation’s mission statement is Connecting with Community Partners and Students to promote extraordinary leadership and academic excellence.