By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual Tree Dedication Ceremony to honor Andy Davis, 2018 Beltonian of the Year, and Luke Potts, 2018 Citizen of the Year, on Tuesday morning in Heritage Park. Every January, the Belton Chamber presents these awards to prominent members of the community for their servitude, and a tree is planted in Heritage Park to honor their legacy.
Andy Davis has served as the Pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC) of Belton for 31 years, so Randy Pittenger, President/CEO of the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, nicknamed him “Belton’s Pastor.”
“This award is given in recognition of long-time achievement in volunteer service to the Belton community; that service could be for service in education, church, a service organization, youth programs, or any area that improves quality of life in Belton,” Pittenger said. “It’s a legacy award.”
Pittenger read the speech he wrote for the January 2019 award ceremony, which explained how Davis fits into the award’s description. From serving on the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor’s Board of Trustees and leading the Belton High School Baccalaureate ceremony to contributing to the city of Belton’s boards and commissions, Belton ISD committees, Belton Area Chamber of Commerce and more, Davis has proven to be a devoted servant in our community.
“He serves and ministers far beyond the boundaries of his church; our community is better because of Andy Davis,” Pittenger said.
Davis then communicated the gratitude he feels to be named “Beltonian of the Year” in addition to being part of the Belton community alongside his family.
“We love Belton, Texas; when we came here, we didn’t realize we would be staying here forever, but we’re so glad that we have,” Davis said. “We love this community, the people of this community, and when I received the Beltonian I was shocked – I couldn’t imagine why I was receiving it – but deeply honored. My wife and I spend a lot of time right here in this park at this point, of course you can imagine, following grandkids in sporting events, so we will be here often, and we’ll watch with eager anticipation as this tree grows up and becomes even more beautiful in the years ahead, so thank you so much; God bless you all.”
Pittenger then read the speech he wrote for Luke Potts, who co-owns Kona Ice of Central Bell County with his wife, Kayla Potts.
“This award is given to the person who made a significant contribution to the community during the previous year by the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce,” Pittenger said. “Luke Potts has distinguished himself as a servant leader in our community; he doesn’t seek out recognition and is often found behind the scenes working tirelessly to make any event a success.”
Apart from his Kona Ice business, Potts is known to offer a helping hand, whether someone asked for it or not.
“Luke comes from a family of servant leaders, so he learned early and often the value of investing in community; he understands that sometimes service might go unnoticed, but it’s still important,” Pittenger said.
Likewise, Potts said his servanthood is a result of the Belton community, a community that he said values generosity and service.
“I think that’s not just what Kayla and I do, I think that’s just the lifestyle in Belton, so we have so many servants here, and that makes such a difference to be in a community where that’s the common lifestyle,” Potts said. “And that’s why we love Belton; we love being here, and I am so honored to get this award.”