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19 new Eagle Scouts honored during church ceremony
Scout leaders also recognize organization's 100th anniversary
Matthew Cindea glances toward his fellow Eagle Scouts during Troop 16’s Eagle Scout ceremony Sunday morning at Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

New Eagle Scouts
Here’s a list of the new Eagle Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 16 and their parents:

  • Cody Barger, Brett and Brenda Barger
  • Andy Bracewell, Ron and Susan Bracewell
  • Matthew Cindea, Eugene and Diana Cindea
  • Stanton Collins, Loren and Mimi Collins
  • Michael Finney, Rob and Lisa Finney
  • Richard Floyd, Keith and Lori Floyd
  • Trey Forrester, Weymon and Ansley Forrester
  • Will Frankum, Greg and Sherri Frankum
  • Taylor Hall, David and Donna Hall
  • Zeke Henderson, Todd and Ginger Folger
  • John Jennings, Anna Jennings and the late Bob Jennings
  • Ryan Joiner, Bob and Jane Joiner
  • Clay Kiningham, Tom and Susan Kiningham
  • John Mancin, Jay and Stacy Mancin
  • Kasey Martin, Scott and Carol Martin
  • Mitchell McCray, Steve and Carol McCray
  • Wade Phillips, Randy and Suzanne Phillips
  • Candler Sartain, Perry and Stephanie Sartain
  • John Webster, Daryl and Emily Webster

Source: Gainesville First United Methodist Church

One hundred years, 19 newly minted Eagle Scouts.

Boy Scout Troop 16 leaders conferred the honor on the young men Sunday at Gainesville First United Methodist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.

Parents decorated their sons in a brief hug-filled ceremony in the church’s sanctuary, as Scout leaders also noted the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary.

"I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this (anniversary) than to have an Eagle Scout court of honor confer Scouting’s highest rank on 19 fine young men," said Scoutmaster Robert Bruner, after giving a quick account of Scouting history.

To further mark the centennial, the troop had hoped to have some 100 Eagle scouts attending the ceremony.

Gainesville real estate executive Frank Norton Jr., an Eagle himself and advancement chairman for Troop 16, said he thought the ceremony drew more than that number.

The church also sponsored a banquet for the new Eagles and their families.

The Rev. Wendy Cordova, the church’s pastor of evangelism and lay ministry, said the church also presented a pocket watch to each of the Scouts.

"We hope that each time you use that, you will be reminded of this day, of your accomplishments and of this church that is so very proud of you," she told the new Eagle Scouts. "Congratulations and God bless you."

The Eagle Scouts also heard from Trip Selman, Scout executive for the Northeast Georgia Council based in Jefferson.

Selman, noting that the council also is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, said that a ceremony recognizing 19 new Eagle scouts is "almost unheard of."

"There’s a strong history here. Gainesville is not only the poultry capital of the world but the Scouting capital of the world," he said, drawing some laughter from the audience.

"In time, these boys are going to become husbands and fathers, employees and employers, and we can all be comforted in knowing that they are better prepared for those positions of leadership and responsibility," Selman.

"They are going to be men with their values shaped by what they learned in Scouting and as Eagle Scouts."

Richard Leet, a Gainesville retiree who served as the Boy Scouts’ national president from 1990 to 1992 and is on the national executive board, also congratulated the Eagles.

"It’s great to see the turnout, it’s great to see the parents, but most importantly, it’s great to see these new Eagle Scouts being inducted today," he said.

To reach Eagle, a Scout must complete the requirements for at least 21 merit badges and a community service project not related to Scouting. Scouts also must serve in a leadership role for at least six months after becoming a Life Scout, the second highest rank.

For his project, Will Frankum, 17, of Gainesville, built an outdoor classroom at Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville.

"My dad was an Eagle and he kind of pushed me through it," he said after the ceremony. "Once you get going, you just keep on until you get that Eagle Scout. And it’s a great feeling. It’s awesome, real rewarding."

His mother, Sherri Frankum, said she was excited and proud for her son.

"It’s been a lot of hard work," she said.

Greg Frankum, his father, said he felt the achievement is important because of the "life lessons ... that are far-reaching beyond Scouts."