The 2024 Myrtie Davis Lifetime Volunteer Servant Leadership Award Winner is Announced

The Myrtie Davis Volunteer Servant Leadership Award was established in 2017 to honor a long-time volunteer for selfless commitment to Samaritan Ministries and our guests. The Award is meant to be an encouragement to all of us to act on the words of Jesus in Matthew 25. The award inspires others to give of their time, talents and resources to help the hungry and homeless of our community.

Myrtie Davis began volunteering at Samaritan Ministries in the Soup Kitchen in 1981 and served faithfully on the Monday team for over 20 years. The inspiration for her service came from Jesus. She always put Samaritan’s guests first, serving with humility and empathy. She was known throughout the community as an intentional listener and prayer partner. Everything she did pointed to Christ. As a Soup Kitchen volunteer, Myrtie often filled the building with music. She was known to identify needs of mothers and children in the Soup Kitchen and return with those items the following week. Myrtie began volunteering to help homeless people when downtown churches opened their doors as shelters in the 1980s. When those churches founded Samaritan Inn in 1988, Myrtie continued her involvement. She joined volunteers from First Presbyterian through the overflow shelter and at Samaritan Inn multiple times a year. She is beloved by Samaritan guests, volunteers and staff.

Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you.’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ”

This year’s award recipient  of the Myrtie Davis Lifetime Volunteer Servant Leadership Award is Arzaia Thomas who has been volunteering with us for FORTY years!

Arzaia truly embodies selfless commitment to Samaritan Ministries. She volunteers every week with us and is a true inspiration.


Past Award Recipients

2023 – Kathryn Harris and Margaret Mills

2021 – Irma Jackson and Minnie Blakely

2020 – Elizabeth West

2019 – Emily Seawell

2018 – Myrtie Davis