2021 Award Recipients
Pastor Timothy W. Carpenter began playing piano at the age of three. He took his first formal lesson at age four and continued his studies resulting in a piano scholarship to The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music.
While studying classical piano he continued his love for Gospel music. He has worked with many of the legendary gospel artists including, Pastor Marvin Winans, Vicki Winans, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Walter Hawkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Donald Lawrence, Fred Hammond, Commissioned, and The Clark Sisters.
Pastor Tim is an accomplished song writer penning songs recorded by Bishop Norman L. Wagner and The Mt. Calvary Concert Choir, which landed his first Stellar Award nomination, Tramaine Hawkins, on her Grammy winning “Live” recording and the “Hit” song “Jesus Promised”, recorded by the Chicago Mass Choir and Rev. Daryl Coley.
2021 Community Leadership Recipient Sean L. Walton, Jr., Esq.
Sean L. Walton, Jr. is a talented and highly sought-after litigator who focuses his practice on complex serious personal injury, wrongful death and civil rights matters. Sean takes an aggressive and innovative approach with every case, looking to utilize his legal acumen to fight for his clients each step of the way. For his work, Sean has been named a Rising Star in Ohio by Super Lawyers, a distinction only 2.5% of attorneys receive. He has also been named Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, the American Society of Legal Advocates, the National Black Lawyers, and the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.
Sean is a nationally respected trial attorney, frequently speaking on topics ranging from civil rights and police misconduct to trends and best practices in personal injury and civil rights litigation. For his work in advocating for victims, Sean has been interviewed or featured in national media outlets such as The Washington Post, New York Times, NBC Nightly News, CBS Nightly News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian and more. He has been named as one of ten “People to Know in the Law” by Columbus Business First magazine.
2019 Award Recipients
Camille Doughty was born to Ernest and Bertha Doughty, being raised in Columbus, Ohio where she received her education and musical tutelage. She started singing publicly early at age 10 with the Green Gospel Singers. Accepting Christ at age 12, Camille joined Highway Church of God and was a member of the Adult Choir with credit to her strong voice. Later, she became a member of the Mt. Hermon Baptist Church under the leadership of her uncle, Pastor Shellie R. Doughty, Sr. There she sang with several of the church choirs and became a frequent soloist.
Marlan James Gary, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, was born and raised in Warren, Ohio by mother Deborah Gary. He is a 1987 graduate of Warren Western Reserve High School and Veteran of The Ohio Army National Guard. Marlan began his career in funeral service at Hall & Jordan Funeral Homes servicing the cities of Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Middletown, Ohio. While working at the funeral home he attended Miami University and graduated from the Cincinnati Colege of Mortuary Science. Upon graduating, Marlan moved to Columbus, Ohio to work with his uncle David Gary, where he opened and operated Gary Memorial Chapel.
2018 Award Recipients
The Bible writes ”A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16 and further states “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Romans 13:7. Appreciating the gifts and calling of Bishop Roger J. Hairston Sr. is both fitting and proper. Bishop Hairston has inspired many hearts with his music and won untold numbers of souls to Christ through dynamic preaching
John H. Gregory, known as “The Solutions Man”, is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and author. He is the CEO of the National Center for Urban Solutions, founder of the Academy for Urban Scholars High School (Columbus and Youngstown locations) and the founder of the National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative.
2017 Award Recipients
Lady Patricia Ann Ross is a dedicated, loved, committed, woman of God whose sacrifice and devotion to God, her family, as well as the Body of Christ is evident in her everyday life.
Lady Ross is the First Lady Emeritus of Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church, which she served as First Lady for 50 years until her husband’s retirement December 31, 2016. She is an anointed woman of God, who lets God use her to minister to men, women, boys and girls encouraging them to seek the higher calling in their lives. October 19, 2003, she was licensed as a Minister to preach the Gospel, by her under Shepard and covering, Bishop Jerome H. Ross, Sr.
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2017 Community Leadership Award
Bishop Jerome H. & Lady Patricia A. Ross
Bishop Jerome Ross served as Senior Pastor of Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church from April 26, 1966, until December 31, 2016. During his 50 year tenure, he led Triedstone through several expansion programs resulting in the formation of the Triedstone Campus which includes the main church building with sanctuary, the Triedstone Annex and rental location for a church, and the J.H. Ross Family Life and Community Center. Until the annex was rented by another local assembly, Bishop Ross established a food pantry and clothing closet, Blessing Hands Food Pantry which served the community on a weekly basis for several years. Blessing Hands Food Pantry now located in the main church building is opened the third and fourth Thursday of every month and serves average 16-20 families each Thursday. [....Click here to read more....]
2016 Award Recipients
Rev. Raymond Wise, Ph. D., a native of Baltimore, Md., is the son of C. Dexter Wise Jr. and Rev. Julia Virginia Wise. He began his musical career at the age of three, singing gospel music with his family singing group "The Wise Singers." Rev. Wise was educated through the Baltimore City Public School System and graduated second out of class of 500 from the Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School in 1979.
He then went on to Denison University (Granville, Ohio) where he reorganized the Black Student Union Choir, started the Black Student Union Ensemble and Dance company and earned a B.F.A. in Music. From there he went on to study Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria, then on to study African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. He completed an apprenticeship in the business and recording of Gospel Music with the Walter Hawkins Corporation in Oakland, California. [....Click here to read more....]
Milton Vaughn Ruffin, Ph.D., holds a BA in Jazz Studies and BA, MA and Ph.D. degrees in Music Education from The Ohio State University. He has been employed by Columbus City Schools for 24 years, currently as principal and director of the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center. Under Dr. Ruffin's leadership, Fort Hayes has been designated as a "School of Promise" by the State of Ohio, and identified as one of the "Top 100 High Schools in America" by U.S. News and World Report; also, the school was chosen by President Obama to introduce the Jobs Act. Fort Hayes is a member of the prestigious Berklee City Music network and has been awarded a Grammy Award as a Grammy Signature School for the 2011-2012 school year.
Dr. Ruffin has presented at numerous conferences including OMEA and the Berklee City Music conference. A highly respected musician, Dr. Ruffin was the composer for the Columbus 200 Celebration Anthem for the city of Columbus, Ohio. [....Click here to read more....]
2015 Award Recipients
The song, Use Me Lord, Be Glorified in Me, written by Pastor Von, clearly reflects her life and ministry. Her music ministry of over 40 years includes psalmist, songwriter, pianist/organist, choir director, and minister of music. A native of Columbus, Ohio; she is the founder and pastor of the Abundant Life Christian Center (Columbus, Ohio) and founder and president of Von Thomas Ministries, Inc. Motivated by her passion to bring unity to the Body of Christ, Pastor Von used music as the vehicle to annihilate denominational, racial, and generational barriers. In 1987, with the prayers and support of the late Bishop Kenneth L. Bligen, her vision came to fruition as Von Thomas & Friends Interdenominational Love Choir (the Love Choir) held it first concert at the Rehoboth Temple Church. A total of 11 churches participated. Although its beginnings were small, God gave amazing increase as the Love Choir grew from 70 voices to 250, representing 56 participating churches. Surely God was glorified as lives were changed by His divine presence. In 1997, the Love Choir recorded its first live CD, Whatsoever Things, and later recorded a second project, When I Let Go. Pastor Von is well known for her gift to write songs. Many of her compositions are sung by choirs both locally and nationally. Under the direction of Dr. Raymond Wise, two of her compositions, Hear our Prayer and We Just Want to Praise You, were sung by the Mass Choir at the 77th Annual Hampton University Choir Directors and Organists Guild Conference in June 2011. Hear Our Prayer was published in the Hymn and Service Song Book. Pastor Von is the recipient of numerous awards for the musical accomplishments and for her service in the community. Included among these are the Columbus Gospel Music Legend Award by the Vocal Ensemble of Columbus State Community College, the Legacy Award to Christian Artists of Central Ohio, the Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award by the Columbus Education Association, the Living Faith Award, the Community Activist Award by St. Dominic Catholic Diocese, the Women of Excellence Award, the Remarkable Woman Award, and more. Realizing the every good and perfect gift is from above, Pastor Von humbly declares, “To God by the glory for the things He has done.”
2014 Award Recipients
Thommy Adams is a director, composer, and clinician. He has served in music ministry in Columbus, Ohio for more than thirty years, before relocating to Los Angeles, CA in November 2007. His church roots began in Gospel Tabernacle Unity Holy Church in Columbus, Ohio. Thommy continued his spiritual growth and development at the Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Rehoboth Temple COOLJC, and New Covenant Believers’ Church. There he served as director of the adult and mass choirs. Thommy worships at Spirt and Truth Worship Center (UPCI) of Orange County. Thommy has received numerous honors and awards from churches, civic organizations, city and state governments. He has written and arranged over 300 songs. In 1998, Thommy recorded a CD <i>The Awakening, Get’N Back to Gospel </i>featuring 150 voice choir singing some of Thommy’s personal favorite compositions and arrangements. It is Thommy’s desire to motivate and inspire singers to realize the importance and the IMPACT of the music ministry in the worship service and to never praise the gift more than the Giver of the gift, JESUS Christ.