VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/28/11)—Former American Baptist General Board member and Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award winner Margaret Louise Heckman Sherman, known as “Peg,” died on April 25, 2011, at Foxdale Retirement Center in State College, PA, where she had resided since 1992.
“Peg played a major role in ABC life nationally and regionally,” said A. Roy Medley, general secretary for American Baptist Churches USA. “Peg’s faith filled her life with laughter. Her smile would brighten any gathering, and her life was lived with a concern for others which led her to serve in many social justice forums. A dedicated American Baptist, Peg was a pioneer in women’s concerns and an advocate for women in ministry.”
Sherman served as President of Church Women United in Schenectady, NY, Ridgewood, N.J. and Rockville, MD. She was on the General Board of American Baptist Churches USA. She was a certified lay minister for American Baptist Churches in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and also served as a guest preacher for numerous churches around the United States. She led and spoke at workshops and seminars at many domestic and international meetings. In 1993 she received the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award from the American Baptist Board of National Ministries, in recognition of her work with the United Nations.
As a Non-Governmental Representative to the United Nations from the American Baptist Churches USA from 1979 through 1991, she worked on a variety of global Christian concerns, including problems of hunger and the care of children. Before this, she served as a Christian education director for four decades in several different churches while raising three children with her late husband Donald L. Sherman. After moving to State College, in 1994, Sherman co-founded and served as first President of the Centre County Chapter of United Nations Association of the USA, a non-governmental organization (NGO) which supports the work and activities of the UN.
Peg served as Educational Director on the staff of St. James Methodist Church in Philadelphia, the Roseville Presbyterian Church in Newark, N.J., and two American Baptist USA churches: Emmanuel Baptist in Ridgewood, N.J. and Bethesda First Baptist in Bethesda, MD. During World War II she was on the program staff of the Army/Navy YMCA of Philadelphia while her husband served in the U.S. Navy. Sherman studied at the Tennent College of Christian Education in Philadelphia, a Presbyterian school now incorporated within the Princeton Theological Seminary.
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.