Eichelberger Tragedy to Bring Hope for Scholarships

Family to hold benefit program for higher education


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Today would have been the Reverend Tryon Eichelberger's 90th birthday. He was 87 when a man burst into his Columbia home and beat him nearly to death in the spring of 2009. He later died from those injuries. An event is set to take place to remember his life by giving someone the chance to improve their own.

"Education is a way out of a lot things," said Mary Eichelberger Johnson, daughter of the slain minister.

That's the catalyst for an upcoming memorial scholarship benefit program, to honor the late Reverend Tryon Eichelberger.

In doing a scholarship program, we are affording family to go to school to get an education."

Johnson says three years after her father was viciously attacked in his Columbia home, and the subsequent conviction of Frankie McGee for the crime, it's important to make sure his death was not in vain.

"The word of God says my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge, so we want to help educate someone in my father's name so they can help make a better world."

In addition to a gospel concert, a featured part of Friday's program will be the viewing of Stolen Voices, Buried secrets: Blind Faith, a documentary on Investigation Discovery Network that recently aired. The show chronicles every bloody detail of the case, including the moments leading to the brutal home invasion. Mary believes that her family's tragic loss could result in a triumphant gain for someone wanting to further their education.

The Reverend Tryon Eichelberger, Sr., Memorial Scholarship Benefit Program will take place Friday, December 14, at 8:00pm at Bell Memorial Baptist Church, 7205 Farrow Rd., Columbia, SC, 29203. Some of the featured gospel artists include: The Eichelberger Generations in Song; Bethany AME Church, Union South Carolina; Women of Strength; Women With a Vision; the Sons of Unity; Lil' Sonny and the Peacemakers and more.

All proceeds will go to the Benedict College Scholarship Fund in honor of the late reverend.

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