Bishop Leake
The Connectional Lay Council established the Bishop George Junius Leake, III Memorial Scholarship in 1981 under the presidency of Dr. Betty V. Stith. The scholarship is designed to perpetuate the legacy of Bishop Leake by offering financial assistance to A.M.E. Zion students enrolled at Hood Theological Seminary.

Bishop Leake was a proponent of academic excellence and spiritual growth. He strongly advocated educational preparation for those called to proclaim God’s Word and to lead His people to Kingdom building. Therefore, the purpose of the scholarship is to encourage and enable members of the A.M.E. Zion Church to fulfill their calling via religious studies and Christian Education.

Bishop Leake was born November 21, 1929 in Wilson, NC. He entered the traveling ministry in 1950. Bishop Leake graduated from Livingstone College in 1957 and received a Masters of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary in 1960. He was elected to the Episcopacy in May 1972 and died June 15, 1981. Bishop Leake urged the Connectional Lay Council to “make a difference” and it is in that spirit that the memorial scholarship was initiated to perpetuate his memory and dedication to Zion Methodism.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • College or university graduate
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Accepted/Enrolled as a full-time student in the M.Div., MTS
  • or DMIN program at Hood Theological Seminary.
  • Documentation supporting leadership qualities, volunteer and
  • civic services.
  • Member in good standing of the A.M.E. Zion Church.

Amount of Award:
Up to $3,000 Annually
(The scholarship award will be given to the institution in the name of the recipient. The student will not receive cash.)

Number of Awards per semester:
(1) one award per semester, with flexibility to award
(2) two awards per semester if equally qualified academically and financially

Application Process:
Applicants must submit the following documents on or before the established deadline to the Bishop George J. Leake, III

Scholarship Selection Committee:

  • Completed Bishop George J. Leake, III Memorial Scholarship Application.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation documenting status in local church, leadership qualities, volunteer and civic services.
  • Official transcript, bearing college/university/seminary seal
  • Acceptance letter to Hood Theological Seminary, new/transfer students only.

Selection Process:
A selection committee will meet annually to review applications and select the finalist. Committee members with acquaintance/knowledge of applicants will excuse themselves from the selection process on a per incident basis

  • Decisions of the selection committee are final.
  • The Scholarship Committee will notify recipients and HTS of the scholarship award.

Recipient Requirements:
Recipient must maintain a full-time student status, membership in good standing in the A.M.E. Zion Church and a cumulative GPA of 3.0

Applications will be accepted for the Fall Semester from July 1st through September 1st Applications will be accepted for the Spring Semester from January 2nd through January 30th


  • Completed application form, including personal statement.
  • Three (3) recommendation forms that have been sealed and signed on the flap of the envelope.
  • Official unopened transcript from college/university/seminary with the cumulative GPA listed.
  • Acceptance letter from Hood Theological Seminary, if applicable.
  • Evidence of financial need from the HTS Financial Aid Department.

Submit all materials together. Type or use black ink to complete application. Blue ink or pencil is not acceptable.

Send completed application to:
The Connectional Lay Council
Attn: Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 26770
Charlotte, NC 28221-6770

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    For further information, you may call Headquarters at 704-599-4630

    Come Zion and let's rally together to support our people and others that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
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