The "Shine the Light" award, established by American Baptist Women’s Ministries, ABCUSA, recognizes outstanding light-bearers for Christ.
The award honors exemplary women from local American Baptist churches for how they shine Christ’s light in the world.
The award may be given to an individual American Baptist woman or to a group of women from an American Baptist church (person and/or group must be a current member(s) of an American Baptist Church). The award will highlight a specific ministry project(s) that best demonstrates how the individual or group is Christ’s light-bearer.
One award will be granted in a year; award presentations are made at an annual gathering hosted by American Baptist Women’s Ministries. In addition to the presentation, information about the recipient will be included in the event materials, a letter of announcement will be sent to the pastor of the recipient’s church, and a letter of announcement will be sent to the executive minister of the region.
To make a nomination
For more information
Click here to download the e-brochure.
Anyone may nominate an individual or a group who fits the criteria. (People should not, however, nominate themselves.) A selection committee will consider all nominations received at the national American Baptist Women’s Ministries office by January 31
Click here to submit a nomination online.
Click here to download the nomination form (PDF format).
2016: Beth Hettrick Berry of the Wakefield Baptist Church in Wakefield, Rhode Island, for her outstanding ministry work with students with special needs through the drama performance organization she founded, GEAR (Give Everyone a Role). Additionally, when realizing that once these students graduated they no longer had performance opportunities available to them, Beth collaborated with community agencies to create productions involving special needs adults cast alongside other actors and musicians. Beth also volunteers at the state Baptist camp and works with children and youth in the congregation. Her nominator, Nancy Bancroft, noted especially that Beth’s “everyday witness cannot be missed by all those with whom she works.”
2015: Cindy Kissane of the First Baptist Church of Syracuse, Jamesville, New York, for her outstanding ministry in leading and coordinating two mission ministries at the First Baptist Church of Syracuse for the last five years: meals at the Samaritan Center (a Syracuse-area soup kitchen) twice a year; and a collaborative project that Kissane developed with the Jamesville-Dewitt Ecumenical Food Pantry to distribute literacy materials for infants through 18-year-olds to client families with children.
2014: Carolyn Argust and Karen Brokaw of Lake Avenue Baptist Church, Rochester, New York, for their outreach ministry bearing the light of Christ to refugees and immigrants in Rochester; including a tutoring program in partnership with a public library that includes leadership development opportunities.
2013: Rev. Barbara Jim-George of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, for her work in the prevention of human trafficking through a primary prevention faith-based curriculum she has developed for teen girls aged 11-16 named the Girls’ Right of Passage Program. Darlene Pennington was also recognized, posthumously, for her ministries at the First Baptist Church of Norfolk, Nebraska, and in her community. Darlene had served in multiple leadership roles at the church and she and her husband had also served as foster parents and foster parent trainers.
2012: Mrs. Elizabeth Gooden and Mrs. Sybil Jones of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, were recognized for their devoted commitment to the Open Door Fellowship, a ministry to incarcerated and previously incarcerated individuals, as well as the many other ways they serve in ministry.
2011: the women of the First Baptist Church in Selma, California, were recognized for work they did on behalf of victims and survivors of sex trafficking through the American Baptist Women’s Ministries-sponsored national mission project, Break the Chains: Slavery in the 21st Century.