American Baptist Women’s Ministries Invites Nominations for the 2018 Shine the Light Award

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American Baptist Women’s Ministries Invites Nominations for the 2018 Shine the Light Award

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/8/17)—Nominations are being accepted now for the 2018 Shine the Light Award. The Shine the Light Award, established by American Baptist Women’s Ministries, ABCUSA, serves to recognize a woman or a women’s ministry group that serves as outstanding light-bearers for Christ. The award highlights a specific ministry project or projects that best demonstrate how the individual or group receiving the award have spread the light of Christ through their congregation, their community, or the world.

Maria Averhart, Helen Hawthorne, and Valerie Moore, of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Springfield, Ohio, were named as the 2017 recipients of the Shine the Light Award. Averhart, Hawthorne, and Moore are members of the Outreach Ministry of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, which has the purpose that, “by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, demonstrating His love by our actions, services, communicating and sharing God’s Word.” Nominator Mildred Archie shared the many ways that Averhart, Hawthorne, and Moore fulfill this purpose through their ministries in the church and community. The recipients were presented with the 2017 Shine the Light Award in absentia at the AB Women’s Ministries’ Women’s Day, Friday, June 30, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, and later in the summer were recognized during a Sunday morning worship service visit by a former member of the congregation, Mr. Kenneth C. Marsenburg, ABCUSA staff member, who presented the award on behalf of American Baptist Women’s Ministries.

ABWM Executive Director Virginia Holmstrom said, “Women are sometimes referred to as “the backbone” of the congregation. The Shine the Light Award nationally recognizes the tremendous mission initiatives that mission-minded women are organizing through their churches and women’s groups to minister in Christ’s name throughout their communities and world. I celebrate the creative and effective ways that American Baptist women are engaging in mission as the hands and feet of Jesus.”

The deadline for nominations for the 2018 Shine the Light Award is January 31st, 2018. For a list of past recipients, as well as more information, criteria, and to submit a nomination, visit the AB Women’s Ministries website at or contact the AB Women’s Ministries office at (610) 768-2288 or

American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.