ABHMS Announces Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award

Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors (top) and Rev. Dr. Michael Woolf

VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/10/23)— American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, pastor, Second Baptist Church, Evanston, Ill., and the Rev. Dr. Michael Woolf, pastor, Lake Street Church, Evanston, Ill., will receive the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award for outstanding work for peace and justice.

Second Baptist Church was formed in 1882 when ten Black members of Lake Street Church (then First Baptist) resigned to form the first Black Baptist church in Evanston. Pastors Nabors and Woolf began a conversation about the rightful ownership of Lake Street Church’s historic and valuable property, and their congregations have acknowledged together that Second Baptist is a full and rightful partner in the ownership of the Lake Street property. Discernment continues about how that partnership will be lived out, but the work of reparation by these two faithful congregations, inspired by their prophetic leaders, is underway.

“In our increasingly separated and polarized society, we celebrate the prophetic and courageous witness and leadership of pastors Nabors and Woolf in leading their congregations toward racial justice and reconciliation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, executive director of ABHMS and CEO of Judson Press.

“In their pursuit of reparations and the restoration of the relationship of their two congregations, pastors Nabors and Woolf exemplify the pursuit of peace and justice that was the hallmark of the life and ministry of Edwin T. Dahlberg,” said the Rev. Dr. Jamie Washam, president of ABHMS’ board of directors.

The Rev. Edwin Dahlberg was an American Baptist minister committed to social justice and peacemaking. A disciple of and sometime secretary to Walter Rauschenbusch, Rev. Dahlberg served as president of American Baptist Churches USA from 1946 to 1947 and president of the National Council of Churches of Christ USA from 1957 to 1960. He also helped found the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.

ABCUSA named the denomination’s Peace and Justice Award for Edwin T. Dahlberg to honor his unflagging commitment to Christian discipleship. In 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first recipient. The award will be presented at the 2023 Biennial Mission Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in June.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

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.