FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations  to 2020 FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship recipients: Jillian Gillum from Phillips High School and Neelie Miller from Decatur High School

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Jillian Gillum attended Phillips High School. Her coach shared that she is “an outstanding young woman with exceptional moral character, phenomenal grades, and an unmatched work ethic.” She shares that she is “a person of outstanding character.” On top of being a multi-sport athlete and great student, her coach went on to share that she still finds time to hold a part-time job, volunteers reading to and tutoring elementary students as well as volunteering four days a week at the Russellville Veterinary Clinic. On behalf of the family of Wayne Halbrooks and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes we are excited to award Jillian as on of our 2020 recipients of the FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship

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Neelie Miller attended Decatur High School. Her coach described her as an exceptional young lady. She went on to share how Neelie has led in her campus FCA ministry for the past two years. She also organized a clothing drive for Clothe our Kids and helped create the Homecoming King tradition at Decatur High which raises funds for CASA of North Alabama. She shares that Neelie is an exemplary leader within her school and that “her character and sincerity shines throughout the way she carries herself and the way she treats others. Her drive to give glory to God in all situations is one of her many extraordinary qualities.” She goes on to share that “Neelie is one who is welcoming, authentic, genuine, forgiving, kind, and one who has the heart of a true follower of Jesus Christ.” On behalf of the family of Wayne Halbrooks and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes we are excited to award Neelie as on of our 2020 recipients of the FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship.

2019 FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship Recipient Maggie Parsons from Brewer High School

Wayne Halbrooks was a baller. As a matter of fact his Senior yearbook picture has a quote under it that reads, “Basketball and girls are his main delight, the first for day and the second for night.” But the reality was there was only one girl that was his delight. At the age of nineteen years old Wayne married Loretta, his high school sweetheart. At the almost age of twenty-two he became a father.

He had wanted a boy and hoped for a son but instead he got me (Nicole). Then the next go around the Lord really showed His sense of humor as He sent him two girls at the same time, my twin sisters, Stacy and Tracy! He adored his girls. Every single one of them were his delight. Now he probably thought that his delight for sports and the dream of passing that delight on to his children was going to be set aside for dolls, dresses, and bows, but he quickly learned that his girls liked mud, and go-carts, and yes… sports.

In my second grade year and my sisters kindergarten year we signed up for our first year of youth league softball. From that moment on the softball field became our summer home. Then in my fourth grade year, I decided that I wanted to play basketball. At that time in Hartselle, AL there was not a girls basketball team. However, our Daddy signed me up to play anyway. I was the only girl on the team, one of only two in the entire league, but I played. I played because our Daddy never said, “You’re just a girl.”

The following year our Daddy got on the phone and recruited enough girls to have an all girls team. We still had to play the boys, but we had a team. The next year he got on the phone again and worked to get our team in the Morgan County league circuit. At this time our Daddy’s friend Joe Berry, who had a daughter the same age as my sisters, built a team for their age group and the Hartselle girls youth basketball league was born.

Our Daddy and Joe Berry did not stop with basketball. These two, along with a few other Dad’s, took positions of leadership in the Hartselle softball youth league and fought for funds from the Park and Rec to improve the softball fields and equipment. They wanted to see that their daughters, and all other girls, had the same opportunities to succeed in sports as the boys.

Our Daddy did not just hold this view in the area of sports, but in every area of life. No matter what his daughters dreamed to do, he was there to support them, encourage them, and fight for them. When he saw a problem or an injustice, he didn’t just complain about it, he looked to see what he could do about it. Our Daddy was a big man in every sense of the word, in stature, in character, and in integrity. He was the same man at home, that he was at work, and that he was at church.

In May of 2015, at the age of sixty, Wayne Halbrooks went home to be with the Lord after a year long battle with cancer. One of the customers that he worked with in another town heard of his passing and wanted to send flowers in honor of him. As they attended his service they shared with us that when they called to order the flowers the florist asked them what our Daddy was about as they made notes about the arrangement. Did he like Alabama football? Was he a hunter or fisherman? Did he play golf?  The customer said she responded by saying, “All I know is that he loves Jesus and his family. They are all he talks about. So just use the biggest cross you have and put it in some pretty flowers.

Our Daddy was a good man with a good name. So our family thought what better way to honor him than by aligning his name with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Therefore, beginning Spring 2019 at least one Senior female athlete in the North/Northwest Alabama FCA area will be awarded the FCA Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will be supported by our family in Wayne Halbrooks’ name through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It is our gift to our community, to honor the man who volunteered his time and talent to fight for girls to be able to play sports, and to teach them how when they did.

We look forward to receiving the applications!

With Many Blessings,

Loretta Halbrooks, Nicole Vaughn, Stacy Fowler, Tracy Smith, and our Families

Download your application here:

Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship

The family of Wayne Halbrooks, announces the 2021 Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, a minimum of $250.00, will be awarded to at least one female athlete who is a senior attending a high school within the North and Northwest Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes areas.

Program Guidelines & Priorities

* Seeking graduating seniors with a record of volunteerism in the community in non-school sponsored activities and participation in extracurricular school activities.

  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Scholarship recipient will be announced in April 2021 and funds released in August 2021 for the first semester of the student’s first year directly to the college and not to the student. It will be the student’s responsibility to submit to the North/Northwest AL FCA an invoice for first semester tuition and fees, student ID number and college information.

* Applicants must have the endorsement of their Guidance Counselor and a letter of recommendation from their High School Coach on their application attesting they are a qualified fit for this scholarship. The application deadline is March 19, 2021. Late applications are not accepted.

Mail one copy of a completed typed application package to:

Wayne Halbrooks Memorial Scholarship


P.O. Box 5628 

Decatur, AL 35601

(This includes application with sign off by Guidance Department, essay, resume, Coach recommendation, and school transcript.) 

The applications will be reviewed and recipients selected by a committee consisting of the family of Wayne Halbrooks as well as the North and Northwest FCA Area Director and Area Representatives. The scholarship(s) will be awarded in May 2021.

Please submit any questions to: nvaughn@fca.org

The writing and teachings of Nicole Love Halbrooks Vaughn