American Baptist Home Mission Societies calls for 2019 Biennial award nominations

VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/7/19)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) seeks nominations for ministry awards to be announced at American Baptist Churches USA’s (ABCUSA) 2019 Biennial Mission Summit to be held June 21-23 in Virginia Beach, Va.

Nominations are sought for five national-recognition ministry awards that honor American Baptist individuals, congregations and organizations for exceptional faithfulness in ministry in ways that are culturally sensitive, generationally inclusive, contextually relevant and missionally appropriate.

Nominations can be submitted by fax, email or postal mail. Deadline is March 31, 2019

Awards are as follows:

  • Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace and Justice Award to an individual or church for outstanding work for peace and justice. The awardee should demonstrate courageous leadership as well as a compassionate Christian witness for and with individuals marginalized in the United States and around the world. This award is named in recognition of the ministry of Dahlberg, who was president of ABCUSA, 1946-1947, and president of the National Council of Churches, 1957-1960. He was instrumental in founding the Fellowship of Reconciliation as well as the Baptist Peace Fellowship. In 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the award’s first recipient.
  • Suzan Johnson Cook Religious Freedom Award to an individual, church or organization for leadership in defending God-given religious liberty for all. The awardee should demonstrate a steadfast commitment to undergirding and uplifting the rights not only of those in or traveling to the United States for refuge but also those who continue to struggle under human rights violations and religious persecution overseas. This award is named in recognition of the ministry of Johnson Cook, who was pastor of Mariner’s Temple Baptist Church, New York City, and the first woman president of Hampton University Ministers’ Conference. She served as ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom under President Barack Obama.
  • ABHMS Cultivating Leaders Award to an individual for faithful and effective leadership in pastoral counseling or chaplaincy in an institutional, organizational or military setting. This award focuses on servant leaders who share comfort, support and God’s love with individuals during the most difficult and challenging situations and crises.
  • ABHMS Equipping Disciples Award to an individual for faithful, effective and innovative leadership in Christian education that spans from faith commitment to spiritual maturity. Settings may be a local church, American Baptist-related college or seminary or ABCUSA region, where efforts result in fully committed and spiritual mature followers of Christ.
  • ABHMS Jitsuo Morikawa Healing and Transforming Communities Award to a clergy or lay person for outstanding leadership and exceptional effectiveness in holistic ministry in an urban, small town or rural setting. Leadership should be in keeping with the example set by the Rev. Dr. Jitsuo Morikawa, whose principles and practices impacted a person in entirety, across the spectrum of country and culture, bringing transformation not only to the individual but also to the individual’s context.

Says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Haggray: “In presenting these awards, we recognize the invaluable contributions of American Baptists, past and present, who have modeled for us the way of Christlike servanthood and who have inspired and encouraged us in our faith walk, as they have humbly shared their time, talents and resources, all in the name of the one who came not to be served but to serve.”

Award recipients will be selected in April. Therefore, submission of nominations by the deadline is imperative. All nominations must be submitted or postmarked by midnight on March 31, 2019. Nominations can be submitted to the attention of Dr. Jeffrey Johnson via email at, fax at 610.768.2470 or postal mail to ABHMS, 1075 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406. For more information, call 610.768.2406.

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.