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2016 Faith in Action Awards

Jon Barton - Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016 Faith in Action Awards It is time to cast your vote for this year's nominations and save the date, Tuesday May 10 Vote Now





Brian Blount

Brian K. Blount is president and professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. He was called to this position in 2007, after serving for 15 years as the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Princeton Theological Seminary.

An M.Div. graduate of Princeton Seminary in 1981, he obtained his B.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1978. After graduating from Princeton Seminary, he went on to become the pastor of the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News, Virginia from 1982-1988. William and Mary’s first African-American to receive membership in the Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, he received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Emory University in 1992. He returned to teach at Princeton Seminary the same year.

Professor Blount’s primary work has been in the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Revelation and in the area of cultural studies and hermeneutics. He is the author of five books.

In 2010, his Revelation commentary was voted the 2009 top reference work by the Academy of Parish Clergy. He has also edited a volume of essays on worship with Leonora Tubbs Tisdale entitled Making Room at the Table: An Invitation to Multicultural Worship (WJK, 2000).  He is also the coauthor of a book with Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann and theologian William C. Placher entitled Struggling With Scripture (WJK, 2001). He has also co-authored the book Preaching The Gospel of Mark in Two Voices (WJK, 2002) with Gary W. Charles, the pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA. He is an editor of The Discipleship Study Bible, also by Westminster John Knox (2008). As a part of his work for the Bible, he has also written the introduction and notes for Mark and Matthew. He is an associate editor of the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible for Abingdon Press. He is also the general editor for True To Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary by Fortress Press.

The author of numerous articles, he also preaches and directs adult education classes in local congregations. He is married, and he and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Joshua and Kaylin.


Angelo Chatmon Reverend Angelo Virtis Chatmon is a native of Los Angeles, California. After matriculating through the Los Angeles school system, he attended Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Humanistic Studies in 1976. In 1976 he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he became a radio personality and producer at K.M.O.J. Radio.  He attended the Brown Institute of Radio and Television Broadcasting, earning a first class radio telephone operator’s license and diplomas in radio and television broadcasting in 1981.  He also served as the vice president of Promotions and Distribution for Cada Records, Inc., a gospel record label. Rev. Chatmon moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1982.  He attended the School of Theology at Virginia Union University and graduated in 1985 with a Master of Divinity degree.  Also, in 1985 he was hired as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Virginia Union University.  He has taught in the Religious Studies Department for 20 years and has chaired the department for ten years. Rev. Chatmon earned a Master of Theology degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond in 1995.  He has continued studies at the University of Richmond and the American University. He is the former pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church in Mathews, Virginia (1985-1996).  Rev. Chatmon has served as pastor of Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church since 1999. He now serves as Director of University and Church Relations as well as University Pastor of Virginia Union University.  Rev. Chatmon and his wife Sheila are the proud parents of two children, Nora and Malachi. Rev. Chatmon believes that a congregation should be theologically developed, and he has endeavored to do so through his ministry.   John Kinney

John W. Kinney, a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marshall University, and Virginia Union University School of Theology and a Ph.D. from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is distinguished as a systematic theologian, academician and administrator. Under his leadership as Dean of the School of Theology at Virginia Union, the Doctor of Ministry Program was established, the Master of Divinity Program experienced unparalleled growth and the Continuing Education program was expanded.

He also serves as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Beaverdam, VA. Additionally, he has served as Assistant Professor of Theology-Chicago Theological Seminary; adjunct faculty at Randolph Macon College, Ashland, VA; Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA and the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.


Michael Livingston The Rev. Michael Livingston, National Policy Director and Director of D.C. Office, joined Interfaith Worker Justice’s (IWJ) Policy Department with a strong interfaith voice on national worker justice issues. Livingston is the former Director of the Poverty Initiative of the National Council of Churches and former Executive Director of the International Council of Community Churches. In Nov. 2010, the Rev. Livingston met with President Obama as a member of a delegation of heads of member denominations of the NCC for the 100th anniversary of the ecumenical movement to discuss a variety of issues. The Rev. Livingston is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary.


John Upton is executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB) in the United States. He was elected president of the Baptist World Alliance during the 20th Baptist World Congress held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2010.

Upton has had a long association with the BWA. He is a former member of the BWA General Council and the Executive Committee, and served on the Baptist World Aid Committee, the Commission on Christian Ethics, and the Executive Committee of the North American Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA. From 2005-2010, he was chair of the Congress Program Committee.

Prior to being elected executive director of the BGAV and the VBMB in 2001, Upton served as group leader of the Mission Mobilization Group of the BGAV, beginning in 1995. Earlier, he was pastor of Urbanna Baptist Church in Urbanna, Virginia, from 1984-1986 and 1991-1995. Between 1986 and 1991 he and his wife, Deborah, served as missionaries in Taiwan through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Upton attended the Baptist-affiliated Averett College (now Averett University) in Danville, Virginia; the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in the USA; and the Taiwan Language Institute. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Kerrala, India.

The Reverend Thomas A. Prinz, is the retired pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leesburg, Virginia. He is also chair of the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod (ELCA) Office for Ecumenical Affairs. Pastor Prinz was previously Assistant Director of the Office for Ecumenical Affairs in the former Lutheran Church in America and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Washington Theological Consortium. Currently Pastor Prinz is an active member and former officer in the Lutheran Ecumenical Representative Network; the North American Academy of Ecumenists;, the National Ecumenical Officers Association; and the National Workshop on Christian Unity. 
Additionally, Pastor Prinz has served as a delegate to the General Assembly of the NCCCUSA for the ELCA and has been a member of the Standing Committees on Local and Regional Ecumenism, Christian-Jewish and Christian-Muslim relations. 

Tom served from 2002 to 2012 as Treasurer of the National Ecumenical Officers Association, and in that capacity devoted countless hours on behalf of the NWCU. His work, like all people giving leadership to our organization was as a volunteer. He gave of his time out of his commitment to the quest for Christian Unity. Tom Prinz is a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

Peter Paul Development Center, Richmond

 John Coleman f

Founded the Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) in 1979. When the Center first opened its doors, it was housed in St. Peters Episcopal Church at the corner of X and 22nd streets. This struggling neighborhood in the heart of the East End faces below average income levels and high crime and drug use rates, and Coleman wanted to provide a safe program for the area youth. With a heart for the neighborhood, his goal was to support and rebuild the community by strengthening its families. Seniors and youth would come to receive help with homework, financial assistance, and participate in recreational activities. After John Coleman’s untimely death in 1986, the Center continued to be primarily supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and many generous individuals. In the late 1980’s, the Center was led by educator Grayland Crisp who formalized the programs and expanded funding sources allowing the Center to grow. Crisp developed the first structured program for youth that included academic tutoring, black history, computer skills and Bible study. Reverend Sylvester Turner then became Executive Director and continued program development. Under his leadership, the Center increased its budget and fundraising efforts to become self-supporting; it no longer relied on financial support from the Diocese.Today, the Center’s facilities include two buildings – one that holds classrooms, an art room, computer lab, kitchen, administrative offices and a multiuse lunchroom/gymnasium/auditorium; and a renovated house next door with additional classroom space for the middle and high school students. A working garden and playground border the buildings. Damon Jiggetts currently serves as the Center’s Executive Director. Jiggetts brings a proven record of accomplishment with a background in organizational development, fiscal management, personnel development, and community relations. Under Jiggetts leadership, Peter Paul programs continue to expand, including a pilot after school program at the neighboring Fairfield Court Elementary School that takes best practices from the Peter Paul experience to students in a satellite location.  Jiggett’s attention on strategic growth is pointing the organization to its dream of reaching more neighborhood students and their families. PPDC has numerous accomplishments but the greatest one of all is providing help and hope to the East End community for more than 30 years. PPDC continues to look boldly towards the next 30 years to build this vital, holistic program. 

Lynchburg Grows

Lynchburg Grows is an urban farm that takes a hands-in-the-dirt approach to teaching others how sustainable food production promotes a healthy planet. Seeded in 2003, our non-profit’s mission is centered on giving people with special needs a space to share their talents and skills while acquiring new ones. We are situated on 6.8 acres in historic Lynchburg, Va., with two of those acres spread among nine greenhouses. Read Our Story Here…

Richmond Justice Initiative

Richmond Justice Initiative is a non-profit, faith-based organization of volunteer modern day abolitionists who use their gifts and talents in the battle against human trafficking.  Founded in 2009 by Sara Pomeroy, RJI has been mobilizing and educating communities on the issue of human trafficking in Virginia and most importantly, how they can take action and affect change.  RJI has trained several other sister Justice Initiative teams who are thriving in and greatly impacting their respective cities. RJI has been the driving force of the Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking (VACAHT) advocating the passing of vital state legislation that has strengthened the ability of our Commonwealth to effectively prosecute those who enslave and treat others like commodities, as well as to secure rescue and safety for the oppressed.  RJI is wholly supported through the voluntary generosity of individuals, churches and businesses.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Galax, VA

The mission of the Church of the Good Shepherd is to be the Body of Christ in this place, welcoming unconditionally all people who come here to be nourished by meaningful liturgical worship and sharing the love of Christ by serving the needs of people locally and around the world.  Church of the Good Shepherd invites and welcomes all people to participate fully in Christian worship, discipleship and service regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic condition or physical or mental ability. We believe that all people are created in the image of God. God delights in the diversity of creation and so do we!

 Lifetime Ecumenist Award Nominees

Tom Joyce, Rev. Joyce’s first appointment was as associate pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Henrico County, Virginia. Subsequent appointments were to Warsaw United Methodist Church in Warsaw, Chamberlayne Heights Church in Henrico County, Heritage Church in Lynchburg, First Church in Salem and as the Roanoke 
District Superintendent. Since June 2005, he has served as the Assistant to the Bishop.
Rev. Joyce has served on many conference boards and agencies, including the board of trustees of Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc., Virginia Conference Credit Union, the conference Board of Discipleship, Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Commission on Disabilities, and Ferrum College Board of Trustees. He is currently serving as the Vice-President and Chair of the Nominations and Personnel Committee of the Conference Board of Pensions and Related Benefits, Inc., board member of the Virginia Conference Wellness Ministries Ltd., and Vice-President of the Josephus Pell Foundation, a foundation that provides scholarship assistance to deserving Virginia Conference seminary students. In July, 2000 Rev. Joyce represented the Virginia Conference by serving as a delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference meeting at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Rev. Joyce was born December 12, 1945, in Henry County, Virginia. In 1968, he graduated with a B.A. degree in religion and philosophy from Emory & Henry College. In 1972, he graduated from the Divinity School of Duke University with a Masters of Divinity Degree. While in seminary, Rev. Joyce served for one year as a youth worker on the staff of Trinity United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina, and for one and one-half years as assistant to the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton, Florida.

Rev. Joyce and his wife, Eleanor, a recently-retired teacher of the Henrico County School System, have three sons: Thomas is Technology Supervisor at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). He and his wife, Alexis, and their two children, Ellie and Tommy, live in Arlington. Kevin is a licensed clinical psychologist and student counselor at Christopher Newport University. David lives at home and works part-time while attending J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

Willard Douglas; An attorney, Willard H. Douglas Jr. joined the Methodist church in 1962 and almost immediately began serving on committees in Richmond, Va., to aid in the merger of the Central Jurisdiction. He has served on the Judicial Council and the Commission on Religion and Race, and he is on the World Methodist Council's executive committee. The history of the Central Jurisdiction is important, he says. "We are one body, we should be one church."







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