The Winterset First Christian Church gave away $37,500 in scholarships this Sunday to 25 students. Each scholarship was for $1,500. 

This money can be used to pay for any school related expenses. As per the Taylors’ request, these scholarships are need-based rather than merit-based. One of the few stipulations is that scholarship recipients must have graduated from a Madison County school and live in Madison County. Students are encouraged to apply each year until they graduate. 

Since its inception, the Charles and Lois Taylor scholarship fund has distributed over $1.7 million to the youth of Madison County. 

The Taylor Scholarship fund was modeled on an earlier scholarship fund that began in 1973. Dwight Johnson created the first scholarship program with $20,000, asking that the interest on that money be used to create grants and scholarships. This generosity moved the Taylors to start their own scholarship fund in 1976. Over the next ten years the couple managed to put $50,000 into the fund. 

Charles and Lois Taylor had no children of their own and so, in 1987 the church was surprised to learn that the Taylors had willed enough money to make the scholarship fund a $1 million endowment. Interest money from that $1 million gift is set aside each year to provide scholarships for Madison County youth. 

The church urges students to view this as “more than just a bit of financial assistance” and states that they aim to support Madison County youth “in all ways, not just financially.”