ABHMS Announces Ministry Award Recipients

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ABHMS Announces Ministry Award Recipients

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/6/11)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) announces American Baptist clergy and lay leaders who will receive awards for significant faith-based work. Recipients were selected by the Board of National Ministries from nominations submitted by clergy and laypersons across the United States and Puerto Rico. Some of the awards will be presented at the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) 2011 Biennial, June 24-26, in San Juan, Puerto Rico; others will be presented at regional locations.

Rev. Paul Hayes, Noank, Conn., and the late Beverly McNally, Pennington, N.J., will receive the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award for significant efforts toward peace. Hayes is the ABC representative to the Peace Commission of the Baptist World Alliance and a leader in many other denominational, community and interfaith activities. McNally was vice president of the Board of National Ministries when she died on April 6, 2010, and received many awards for her activities in the New Jersey region.

Rev. Richard Ice, Alameda, Calif., will receive the Religious Freedom Award for leadership in defending God-given religious liberty for all. He was president and CEO of American Baptist Homes of the West for 23 years.

Rev. Dr. John Buskey, executive director of Outdoor Ministries and Youth Ministries for ABC of New York State, will receive the Kenneth L. Cober Regional Discipleship Award for faithful, effective leadership in discipleship education in an American Baptist region. He oversees Camp Vick and Pathfinder Lodge, where he trains summer staff.

Marilyn Harris, Hatboro, Pa., will receive the Richard Hoiland Local Christian Education Award for faithful, effective leadership in Christian education. She is an elder, Sunday school teacher, Christian education ministry leader and nurse coordinator at Hatboro Baptist Church.

Dr. Rolf Myhrman, professor of chemistry at Judson University, Elgin, Ill., will receive the Luther Wesley Smith Education Award for faithful, effective leadership in strengthening Christian education at an American Baptist-related college or seminary. An individual who links science and faith, he is founder of the World Hunger Research Center and an active church member.

Rev. John Iverson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Roundup, Mont., will receive the Rosa O. Hall Rural and Small Town Award for exceptional effectiveness in rural or small town ministry. A highlight of his ministry is the Youth Center, which draws 80-100 young people on Friday evenings.

Rev. Stephen E. Tucker, Washington, D.C., will receive the Edward H. Rhoades Urban Ministry Award for exceptional effectiveness in urban ministry. He organized New Commandment Baptist Church in what had been D.C.’s top drug-trafficking block.

Francisco Lopez, a member of First Brazilian Baptist Church of Los Angeles (Primeira Missao Batista Brasileira de Los Angeles), will receive the Jitsuo Morikawa Evangelism Award for outstanding leadership in holistic evangelism. He leads “Feed My Sheep” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House and Dreier’s Nursing Care Center, Glendale, Calif.

Maj. Susan D. Caswell, Fort Meade, Md., will receive the Merit Award for Military Chaplaincy. Featured in the America for Christ 2010 promotional DVD, she has done an outstanding job as officer-in-charge of the Northeast Recruiting Team.

Rev. William J. Painter, chaplain at Judson Park Retirement Community, Des Moines, Wash., will receive the Merit Award for Institutional Chaplaincy. He also serves as the community’s emergency planning officer.

Rev. Stephen E. Ott, executive director of the Center for Career Development and Ministry, Dedham, Mass., will receive the Merit Award for Pastoral Counseling. He was ordained in 1973 and is a Boundary Awareness Workshop provider.

ABHMS extends warm congratulations to these award recipients along with prayer that God will continue to bless their ministries.

The window for 2013 award nominations, related to the ABCUSA Biennial in Overland Park, Kan., will open in late summer 2012. Many women and men are worthy of consideration for these honors, and American Baptists are strongly encouraged to identify and promote nominees.

For more information about the awards, contact Susan Bogle at sbogle@abhms.org or 800-222-3872, x2028.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.