VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/19/13)—The 2013 Ralph Garfield Schell Excellence in Ministry Prize was awarded to Rev. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams and Rev. Curtis Price at the annual meeting of the Minister’s Council Senate in Green Lake, Wisconsin on August 15, 2013. The Schell award is given to pastoral leaders who have been extraordinarily faithful in carrying out the principles of the Ministers Council Code of Ethics, as well as unusually effective in ministry.
Rev. Williams, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Rochester, New York, is also the president of the Rochester/Genesee Ministers Council and tirelessly advocates for his colleagues, according to Executive Minister Rev. Alan G. Newton. He has participated in Together in Ministry groups for many years and offers to colleagues both hospitality and a model for dealing with the sorrows of life. Currently he also serves as chaplain to the Fire and Police Departments of Brighton, NY. Rev. Williams has served churches in Brighton, NY, Chicago, IL, and Waukesha, WI and has been executive minister of the Rochester/Genesee Region, American Baptist Churches USA. He has served on numerous boards of agencies concerned with social issues, has published articles on spirituality and public policy, and enjoys the community chorus.
Rev. Price has been instrumental in organizing the Evergreen Association and the Evergreen Ministers Council, and has encouraged his colleagues to participate in Together in Ministry groups. He served eight years in the U.S. Air Force and worked in youth ministry in Ogden, UT before he was ordained. Rev. Price pastored the Wedgewood Community Church in Seattle, WA for seven years before being called to the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, UT three years ago. He has advised Church World Service on immigration reform and regularly goes to the Utah State House to advocate for the poor. His executive minister, Rev. Dr. Marcia Patton, says that Rev. Price is known by his infectious laughter and entertaining songs about the “trials” of pastoral ministry.
Nominees for the award, which includes a $100 prize, are made by colleagues in ABC ministry. The recipient is chosen by the current Ministers Council president. The Ralph Garfield Schell Award is named for the first president of the national Ministers Council, who served in the late 1930’s, while also leading the Baptist Churches in Chicago and serving on various denominational and ecumenical Boards.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.