Tribute to individuals and churches honored during General Synod
Written by Tim Kershner
June 30, 2013

Several United Church of Christ groups were honored at General Synod Sunday evening for their ministries to the local and wider church.

According to the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister for Local Church Ministries, most of the awards were previously presented at a variety of dinners and ceremonies during General Synod, but it was important for the UCC’s officers to pay tribute to all their work.

"We wanted to have an occasion where the collegium, on behalf of the whole church, recognized these individuals and churches," Guess said.

The following awards were recognized during the ceremony.

Ecumenical and Interfaith Partners        

  • Rev. Dr. Peter Morales, Ecumenical and Interfaith Award                            
  • Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, Avery Post Ecumenical and Interfaith Award            

Global Ministries                    

  • The Round Table for Mission Development, Mexico, Award of Affirmation
  • The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Award of Affirmation

Justice and Witness Ministries 2013 Justice Leadership Awards   

  • Rev. John R. Guttermann, Social Prophet Award                
  • Rev. Deborah Lee Social, Prophet Award                         
  • Mr. Jonathan Victorio, Youth & Young Adult Award     
  • Ms. Miah Yager, Youth & Young Adult Award     
  • Homelessness Prevention Initiative, Fort Collins, Colo., Grassroots Organization Award    
  • St. John United Church of Christ Freeport, Ill., Local Church Award                  

Local Church Ministries

  • Rev. Janice L. Davis, Association of United Church Educators Founder’s Award     
  • Rev. Harold L. Harrison, Association of United Church Educators Founder’s Award     
  • Rev. Dr. Allen Hilton, Excellence in Teaching Award     
  • Ms. Carrie Jeffries, Excellence in Teaching Award     
  • Rev. Deborah Alberswerth Payden, Excellence in Teaching Award     
  • Ms. Satsuki Unoki, Excellence in Teaching Award     

Dakota Association of UCC Churches and Council for American Indian Ministries

  • Rev. Dr. Norman W. Jackson, Honoring our Beloved Warrior Award        

Pacific Islander Asian American Ministries         

  • Mr. Goldrino Balatico, PAAM Award                          
  • Rev. Sharon Lee MacArthur, PAAM Award                          

United Black Christians           

  • Ms. Dorothy Lackey (posthumously), UBC Award                             
  • Ms. Sadie Triplett, UBC Award                             

The United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Concerns           

  • Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Courage Award

United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries   

  • Rev. Dr. Dee Brauninger, United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries Award          
  • Rev. Norma Mengel, Mental Illness Network Bob Dell Award     

Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice Vessels of Light Award


  • Ms. Dollie Burwell         
  • Ms. Kim Burwell           
  • Ms. Mahalia Clarke        
  • Ms. Jean Copeland         
  • Ms. Mary Grant (posthumously)
  • Ms. Margaret Ellis          
  • Ms. Brenda James
  • Ms. Darlene Jones
  • Pastor Noni Gordon Jones
  • Ms. Patsy McDowell


  • Amistad UCC, Hartford, Conn.
  • Church of the Christian Fellowship, San Diego, Calif.
  • Church of the Open Door, Miami, Fla.
  • Community of Faith UCC, Houston, Texas
  • Congregational Church of South Hempstead (N.Y.) UCC
  • Corinth Chapel UCC, Suffolk, Va.
  • Corinth UCC, Youngsville, NC. .
  • Covenant UCC, South Holland, Ill
  • First Congregational Church UCC, Atlanta
  • Kenwood UCC, Chicago
  • Laurel Hill UCC, Suffolk, Va.
  • Lincoln Memorial Congregational UCC, Los Angeles
  • Oak Level UCC, Manson, N.C.
  • Peoples Congregational UCC, Washington D.C.
  • Plymouth Congregational Church UCC, Washington D.C.
  • Plymouth Congregational UCC, Beaumont, Texas
  • Providence UCC, Chesapeake, Va.
  • Refiner’s Fire Fellowship UCC, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Saints’ Delight UCC, Louisburg, N.C.
  • St. Stephen UCC, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Truth and Destiny Covenant Ministries UCC, Cincinnati, Ohio

Ms. Connie N. Larkman
Managing Editor & News Director
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115

Mr. Anthony Moujaes
UC News Coordinator
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115