Oct. 22, 2010
Candler School of Theology has honored three alums with 2010 Distinguished Alumni Awards: Bishop Robert C. Morgan 58T for Service to Church, Rev. Gilbert L. Schroerlucke 52T 53G for Service to Community, and Rev. Dr. Herchel H. Sheets 52T for Service to Candler. The awards were bestowed during a luncheon at Candler on October 20.
Morgan, who officially is retired, continues to teach, preach and teach and has done so for more than 50 years. Currently, he is the bishop-in-residence and a faculty member at United Methodist-affiliated Birmingham-Southern College. During his active episcopacy, he was assigned to the Mississippi Area and the Kentucky Conference of the UMC. He also was the presiding bishop of the worldwide Council of Bishops, president of the General Board of Church and Society, president of the Southeastern College of Bishops, and a member of the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Global Ministry.
Schroerlucke first entered ministry in 1947 and has been a staunch advocate for human rights, racial harmony, and genuine social justice since that time. He has shared the podium and pulpit with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and received innumerable awards for his work on behalf women, men, and children for whom injustice was an everyday experience. In the ten churches he served, he established community outreach ministries including summer programs for children and youth, sports programs for at-risk teenagers, after-school tutoring, daycare, and adult fitness and recreation programs. In his retirement, he has continued his work with the poor and marginalized through Louisville’s Market Street EMW Clinic, Open Door Ministry, and the Progressive United Methodists of Kentucky.
Sheets has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the Candler School of Theology since his graduation in 1952. He has served Candler as a contextual education host and site supervisor, class reunion chair, visiting lecturer in Christian education, adjunct professor of Methodist Studies, Candler's representative on the Emory Alumni Board, and has been a regular presence at Candler and Emory events and lifelong learning opportunities. He has supported Candler’s mission and ministry through his generous giving over 42 consecutive years, and in 2009, he established the Gladys Mallard Sheets Endowment for Methodist Studies in honor of his wife of 60 years. In addition to his support of Candler, he is an acknowledged leader within and beyond the United Methodist Church. He has been elected to the United Methodist General Conference five times and Jurisdictional Conference seven times, and his ecumenical work, including his presidency of the Christian Council of Atlanta, is highly regarded.
Since 2007, Candler has given the Distinguished Alumni Award annually to three alumni who have displayed a devoted commitment as ambassadors and advocates for Candler, the church and the community as a whole. Previous recipients of the award include: William S. Barnes, Bishop J. Lloyd Knox, Rev. Kenneth E. Marcus, Cecil McFarland, Carolyn Morris, Kenneth L. Samuel, Susan T. Henry-Crowe, Ginger Rogers Kaney, Eugene M. Zimmerman, and Nelia T. Kimbrough.