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Eleventh annual Bishop James Walker Hood dinner

Hood Seminary News Service

The Eleventh Annual Bishop James Walker Hood Donor Appreciation Dinner was held on May 14 in the Aymer Center on the campus of Hood Theological Seminary.

This annual event is held to recognize and thank those individuals who have given a thousand dollars or more in the last year to the Seminary. “This year Hood has much to celebrate,” said President Vergel Lattimore. “Tonight, we celebrate each of you who are here this evening for your on-going support to this graduate school and seminary.”

The theme of this year’s event, attended by about 100 guests, was Stewardship – of the gifts received from donors, and of Hood’s students and resources. Richard Blankenship of Franklin Street Partners in Chapel Hill spoke about his firm’s careful stewardship of the dollars invested in the Seminary’s permanent endowment. Dr. Trevor Eppehimer, Academic Dean, shared his vision of the stewardship of our students and the counseling and support they receive to make their education at Hood as successful as possible. Two seminary students, Rev. Brian Preveaux and Rev. Teresa Cromedy, gave stirring testimonials on the importance of the guidance they receive during every step along the way of their seminary journey

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the prestigious Bishop James Walker Hood Awards for Distinguished Service. This is the highest honor Hood Seminary bestows on donors, leaders and supporters. President Lattimore, President Emeritus Albert J.D. Aymer, and Chairman of the Board Bishop Richard K. Thompson thanked this year’s recipients for their constant support and generous contributions of time and talent to the mission of Hood Theological Seminary since becoming independent 14 years ago.

Bishop Leonard H. Bolick, Senior Bishop of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was recognized for his years of extraordinary leadership to the North Carolina Lutheran Synod, for enriching the Hood Seminary community as a true neighbor in Christ and for his support of the mission of Hood Seminary,

He was also honored for his key role in the historic Agreement signed by the Board of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2010 and the beginning of bilateral discourse between the two denominations that continues today at local and national levels. That effort can be pointed to as one of the first times, if not the first time, in the history of our nation, that an agreement of this kind between a historically white church and a historically black church was signed.

Bishop Joseph Johnson, retired bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, was recognized for his many years of faithful service to the A.M.E. Zion Church and to Hood Theological Seminary, and for his generous contributions in talents and resources in support of its mission. Bishop Johnson’s formal association with Hood has been long and distinguished, beginning in the 1960s when he took Hood Extension classes taught by his pastor who would become Bishop Ruben L. Speaks. In addition, he served two ten year terms as Adjunct Professor of Practical Ministry from 1982-92 and from 2004-14). He also served as Director of the Diploma program from 2004 to 2014); Academic Advisor and reader in the Doctor of Ministry program and Bishop-in-Residence from 2004 to 2014. He guided Hood in its journey to become an accredited and a free-standing seminary and he became its first chairman of the Board of Trustees. He now serves as a trustee emeritus, a generous benefactor, a kind mentor, and a constant advocate.

Hood Theological Seminary, located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive, is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the Seminary is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and is the only Seminary in the United States sponsored by the AME Zion Church. Its student body and faculty are comprised of persons from many different denominations.

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