Dr. Jo Anne Lyon Recipient of the 2015 Peace Award
The World Methodist Council announces that Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon is the recipient of the 2015 World Methodist Council Peace Award. The award will be presented to Dr. Lyon at the closing worship of the 21st World Methodist Conference in Houston, Texas USA, on September 3, 2016.
As the founder and former CEO (1996-2008) of World Hope International, Alexandria,Va., Dr. Lyon began that ministry in her home and, in twelve years, grew the organization to a $17 million global Christian relief and development agency serving in 30 countries and dedicated to alleviate suffering and injustice. In her time with World Hope International, she traveled extensively, often to dangerous and remote areas. Her creative approach and problem-solving with local leadership led to programs which brought both clean water and spiritual nourishment to these communities. She has helped to initiate numerous projects including digging wells, holistic healing programs for post-war amputees, and brought national awareness to human-trafficking. She followed her time at World Hope International by serving for eight years as General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.
Dr. Lyon states: “In this time, we care about needy and suffering people, about immigrants, about racial reconciliation, about refugees, about human trafficking, and about the equality of God’s image in women. The prophet Amos said: ‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’ (5:24). Seeking justice alone can become all political. But righteousness without seeking justice for others leads to isolation from the world. We find that balance including both justice and righteousness, rooted in the Bible and in our historical identity.”
Dr. Lyon has served as the representative of The Wesleyan Church to the President of The United States Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, on the board of directors of many organizations including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Christian Community Development Association, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Asbury Theological Seminary, Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum.
The recipient of five honorary doctorates, Dr. Lyon wrote the book, The Ultimate Blessing, and has authored articles for various publications. She served over 30 years in pastoral ministry with her husband, and has been Adjunct Professor of Church and Society at Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary.
About The World Methodist Council
The World Methodist Council began in London, England at Wesley’s Chapel in 1881 where some 400 delegates from 30 Methodist bodies around the world gathered in an Ecumenical Methodist Conference. The World Methodist Council is composed of between 250 to 528 delegates elected from its member churches. From 2001 onward, the Council has averaged at 400 members. Representation is determined by Church membership and financial contribution to the work of the Council. In 1956, the World Methodist Council established a permanent headquarters in the United States at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
About the World Methodist Peace Award
First awarded in 1977, the World Methodist Peace Award is given to a person or persons who have displayed courage, creativity and consistency in pursuing peace and equal rights for individuals throughout the world. Nominations may be made by leaders of the World Methodist Council’s Member Churches by submitting a letter highlighting the reason for the nomination and giving evidence of the fruit of the nominee’s efforts toward peace. Prior recipients of the award include former South African President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Other recipients are former President of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski, the compassionate community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.