Big Canoe Chapel Investing in the Future

The senior class of 2023 represents the 41st consecutive year that Big Canoe Chapel has awarded scholarships to deserving seniors living in Pickens and Dawson counties. Over 2.8 million dollars and 2,100 plus scholarships have had a tremendous impact on many lives.

In addition to the Chapel scholarships, the iPhone Club extends scholarships to students pursuing a technology degree. The Joe Dodd and Steve Shannon families also award scholarships in the name of a deceased loved one.

Fifty-two graduating seniors were recipients of $116,500 in scholarship monies this year. Included in the Chapel’s general grants were awards from The Joe Dodd Memorial Scholarship, established in 2018, and received by Kevin Haymond of Dawson High School (DHS) and Noah Jones from Pickens High School (PHS). Kevin will play football at Central College in Danville, Kentucky while Noah will be running track at Reinhardt College.

The Sally Shannon Memorial Scholarship, established in 2020 by her brother, is given to well-rounded students who display a high degree of proficiency in math and who plan to focus on math or a math-related field. This year’s awards were given to Emily Peak of DHS and Brandon Bell of PHS. Brandon will be attending Georgia Tech while Emily heads off to the University of North Georgia.

This year’s guest speaker was Mark Cahill. Mark is an Auburn graduate, where he played basketball and was Charles Barkley’s roommate. He began his career in education but left the field to pursue a fulltime ministry, Mark Cahill Ministry. He has authored several books including his best-selling, One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, One Heartbeat Away, The Watchmen, Paradise, and his newly released novel, Reunion, which has over 1.4 million in print and been translated into over 15 languages.

Mark is a uniquely gifted evangelist and a highly sought speaker. He can motivate and unite believers and churches in both evangelism and making disciples for Christ. The impact of the 17-year evangelistic ministry can be seen in the many testimonials of pastors and people whose lives have been forever changed after hearing him speak.

“What I love to do most,” Mark says, “is share my faith.” Mark can be found speaking at Sunday morning worship services, summer camps, retreats, schools, college campuses and youth conferences or sharing his faith at malls, beaches, concerts, coffee shops or tailgating parties.

Larry Applewhite, chair of the Scholarship Committee presided at the awards event and the music was provided by Noah Burnett, piano and Calliegh Lamb

Ready to Get Started



Program Brochure



Scholarship Requirements



Senior Profile



Scholarship Application



Any student may apply who:

  1. is a resident of Pickens or Dawson County
  2. is graduating from an accredited high school or homeschool program
  3. wishes to further his/her education as a full-time student in a college or university (technical colleges not eligible)

TO BE CONSIDERED for a Big Canoe Scholarship, students must do the following:

  1. Complete a Big Canoe Chapel Scholarship Application. (Download pdf or Word file.) Application must be typed.
  2. Provide the Scholarship Committee with an official transcript of high school grades. Applicants must be HOPE qualified, with a 3.25 GPA in core courses, and have a combination of 3 AP/Dual Enrollment Credits.
  3. Provide two written personal references: one from the school, such as a teacher, counselor, or administrator; and one from an adult outside the school or family.
  4. Complete the Senior Profile. (Download pdf or Word file.) A school counselor will provide the necessary information to secure and complete the form. The completed form must be type-written. Please be as specific as possible in responding to the questions.
  5. Provide a letter of acceptance from a college or university of choice.
  6. Set up an appointment for an interview. School counselors will assist with scheduling the student interviews, which will be conducted by a member of the Big Canoe Chapel Scholarship Committee. Interview at the public high school in your home county, even if you do not attend that school.