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Covenant Woman from Michigan Named Miss America

Crowning Miss Michigan

LAS VEGAS, NV (January 28, 2008) - Kirsten Haglund, a member of Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan, was crowned the new Miss America on Saturday.

She won a $50,000 scholarship and will travel the country representing the Miss America Pageant for the coming year. Haglund, whose platform is "Raising Awareness of Eating Disorders," also earned a $1,000 scholarship when she won the lifestyle and fitness (swimsuit) competition.

Haglund has spoken often of the way in which her faith has guided and sustained her, not only throughout the competitive environment of the many pageants along the way, but also in battling a health issue earlier in her life. Throughout those years, she says the role of both the church and her family in nurturing her faith has been very important.

"My parents have an amazing faith, and the women in the church have been real role models for me." Kirsten’s mother, Iora, is Faith Covenant's pastor of congregational care, and her father, Valdor, is the lead guitarist for the worship team, with which Kirsten also has sung. To read more about her faith and the challenges she faced, please see Miss Michigan.

Haglund was not the only member of an Evangelical Covenant Church participating in the event. Ashley Young, who has grown up in the Hope Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota, represented her state.

Haglund’s dizzying schedule already has begun, with appearances scheduled Monday on various TV shows, including Live! with Regis and Kelly and ABC News Now. To read a previous Covenant News Service story on Haglund, see Miss Michigan.

The pageant was held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

North Park University is an institution of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Covenant News Service, Copyright 2008, Evangelical Covenant Church