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2020-2021 Francis Asbury Award Winners Announced

September 1, 2021

The Reverend Gerald C. Liu, PhD, Director of Collegiate Ministries, Initiatives, and Belonging and ordained elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference is pleased to announce 10 Francis Asbury Award winners for the 2020 – 21 academic year on behalf of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry [GBHEM] and the Annual Conferences who have supported them. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding support of higher education and campus ministries within The United Methodist Church.

The honorees represent the breadth of United Methodist campus ministry from laity, university chaplains, Wesley Foundation Directors and administrators, and the episcopacy. From the stages of voluntarism, early and mid- career engagement, and upcoming and current retirement, they have demonstrated exceptional local, multigenerational, international, ecumenical, and interreligious educational Christian ministry with students, faculty, staff, and colleagues.

They are:

Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, Virginia Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Meredith Bell, Central Texas Annual Conference
Ms. Barbara Dadd Shaffer, Alaska Annual Conference
Bishop Gaspar João Domingos, Africa Central Annual Conference
Rev. Deb Johnson, Michigan Annual Conference
Rev. Larry Jones, Western North Carolina Annual Conference
Rev. Erik “Skitch” Matson, Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Catherine Quehl-Engel, Iowa Annual Conference
Rev. Sarah Voigt, Susquehanna Annual Conference
Prof. Truman Jordan, Iowa Annual Conference

The Francis Asbury Award is named for Bishop Francis Asbury, one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S. Perhaps because he only had 6 years of formal schooling himself, Asbury charged the people called Methodist to erect a school in the vicinity of every church. “We must,” he said, “…give the key of knowledge to your children, and those of the poor in the vicinity of your small towns and villages.” Each year, GBHEM invites Annual Conference Boards of Higher Education and Campus Ministry to submit nominees based upon extraordinary leadership above and beyond basic responsibilities in United Methodist higher education ministries. GBHEM reviews each nomination and issues awards accordingly.

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