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Columbia Theological Seminary Announces Alumni/ae Awards


Decatur, GA. — The Alumni/ae Association of Columbia Theological Seminary has recognized three graduates for outstanding Christian service in ministry. Joanna Adams and George Telford received the Distinguished Service Award, which is presented annually to two graduates. Brad Smith received the Pioneer in Ministry Award, presented this year for the first time. Joanna Adams, a 1979 graduate of Columbia, is pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA. She has also been pastor of Central and Trinity Presbyterian churches, Atlanta; North Decatur (GA) Presbyterian; and Fourth Presbyterian, Chicago, where she was co-pastor. She served as president of the Alumni/ae Association and chaired the seminary’s Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001. A leader in the PC(USA) at the national and presbytery levels, Adams has also served on the boards of numerous community organizations, including the Atlanta Area Task Force on Homelessness of which she was the founding chair. In 2006, the Georgia Commission on Women named her Woman of the Year. In 2008, she received the Planned Parenthood of Georgia Living Legend Award; and in 2009, Georgia Trend magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential Georgians. After graduating from Columbia in 1958, George Telford, was called to First Presbyterian Church, Auburn, AL, where he served as assistant pastor. Following completion of advanced studies, he served as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, VA; First Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, FL; First Presbyterian Church, Auburn, AL; and Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, VA. From 1987 until 1993 he served as director of the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has also been a member of the Columbia faculty, serving for six years as associate professor of theology and church and director of advanced studies. Brad Smith, pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC, completed the Master of Divinity degree in 1989 and the Doctor of Ministry in 1999. In 1989, in his first call as associate pastor of Spring Valley Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC, he founded The Souper Bowl of Caring. After 13 years, he became the full-time executive director of Souper Bowl, which has raised more than $60 million over the last 20 years to serve and care for people in need. Smith is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from the University of South Carolina, and the David W. Robinson Catalyst Award from Central Carolina Community Foundation. Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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