Lexington, Ky., March 28, 2013 – The 2013 President’s Award for outstanding service and ministry will be awarded to longtime friends of Lexington Theological Seminary, Luther and Blanche B. Coggin of Jacksonville, Fla., at the 2013 graduation ceremony in May.
Inspired by the ministries and friendships of several LTS graduates over the years, the Coggins in 2008 bestowed a gift establishing the Blanche B. Coggin Endowment at Lexington Theological Seminary. The Endowment is used to enhance educational excellence and expand opportunities for faculty and students.
The President’s Award was established to recognize outstanding service and ministry on behalf of the Seminary by an individual, congregation or organization. In its inaugural year, the award was presented to LTS alumnus Dr. James M. Wray, Jr.
“Because of the generous support from the Coggins, Lexington Theological Seminary continues to explore new ways of teaching and preparing students for ministry in ways that promote excellence and acknowledge the realities of 21st century ministry,” said Dr. Charisse L. Gillett, LTS President.
The Coggins, lifetime members of the Disciples of Christ church, have ties to Lexington Theological Seminary through its graduates – ministers who have served their home congregations as well as friends who have served with them along the way. For many years, Mrs. Coggin directed the Disciples Youth Camp activities in the Alabama/Northwest Florida Region, where she met Guy Waldrop, an LTS alumnus, former LTS trustee and General Minister of the Christian Church in Kentucky. Among others, Mrs. Coggin fondly remembers Linda and Bill Curwood and their daughter, current LTS student Anna Hope, and David and Julia Blondell.
“One by one, our ministers and friends in ministry seemed to be … furthering their degrees at LTS, so we became more interested in the Seminary,” Mrs. Coggin said. “It is a Seminary for the church, and that is very important to us. We are very appreciative of this honor and feel it is quite a blessing to us that we were in a position to make this endowment,” Mrs. Coggin concluded.
“The Coggins are wonderful, generous people who love the church and care a great deal about the Seminary,” Waldrop said.
The Coggins met while teenagers in a Sunday School class at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Birmingham, Ala. Married for 63 years, they are active in their home congregation, First Christian Church of the Beaches in Jacksonville, pastored by the Rev. Mahlon Dixon.
The award will be presented May 10 at the Seminary’s 147th commencement.
Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit www.lextheo.edu.