This scholarship was established in 2022 by friends and fellow Martin Luther College classmates of Aaron Strong MLC ’04, WLS ’08.
Rev. Aaron Strong (1982-2022) faithfully served his Savior as a church planter and parish pastor for 14 years before receiving his crown of life on October 12, 2022.
After his graduation from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Pastor Strong established a new home mission, Shepherd of the Hills-Las Vegas, serving there from 2008 to 2015. From 2015 to the day he entered heaven, he served as an associate pastor at Grace-Milwaukee. He served with joy and enthusiasm, whether leading the Point of Grace campus ministry, serving at Grace in the Ward (Milwaukee’s Third Ward district), or ministering in any number of ways at Grace’s downtown campus and community. It brought him great joy to work among God’s people, pursuing God’s mission to share the love of Jesus one heart and home at a time. He was also an excellent singer and instrumentalist and used those gifts to edify God’s people.
The friends establishing this scholarship met at MLC in August 2000 as they began their training to be called workers. They give thanks to God and honor Aaron with these words:
“We will always remember Aaron’s joy for our Savior and his love for us all. Aaron was a down-to-earth and loving friend, son, brother, husband to Abbie (nee Henke, MLC ’04), and father to Hannah and Elijah. God blessed him with the ability to connect with anyone who crossed his path. His easygoing smile, his good-natured personality, the sparkle in his eyes, and his whole-hearted laughter created instant relationships. And through these relationships, he shared Jesus.
“Aaron always put others first. Even in his untimely death by a reckless driver, much of his tissue—skin, corneas, ligaments, etc.—was donated to save others.
“We want to honor the lifetime that Aaron spent joyfully and fully serving our loving, omniscient, and all-powerful Savior. Aaron was strong and courageous. We want the recipients of the Strong and Courageous Scholarship to have those qualities as well. As God told Joshua (1:9), ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”
Scholarship recipients are MLC sophomore, junior, and senior preseminary and education majors who apply for the scholarship and who demonstrate financial need. The recipients, furthermore, will be students who display interest and gifts in evangelism and who demonstrate the joy of serving through active participation in campus life and in their home congregations.