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Four to Receive Steel-Hendrix Awards; Willson Lecture, Gill Preaching Workshop to Feature Diana Butler Bass

Boggan, Meadors, Valley, Schrepfer to receive honors February 5; Butler Bass to follow with evening lecture, lead February 6 workshop

Recipients of the 39th Annual Steel-Hendrix Awards, clockwise from upper left: Rev. Sam Meadors, Rev. Tamira Valley, Dr. Ashley Boggan, Blake Schrepfer. Tamira Valley, Dr. Ashley Boggan, Blake Schrepfer

CONWAY, Ark. (October 12, 2023) — Hendrix College will recognize four persons for their exemplary faith-based service and provide opportunities for spiritual growth and continuing education through a trio of events set for February 5 and 6, 2024: The Steel-Hendrix Awards, the Willson Lecture, and the John and Marjem Gill Preaching Workshop.

Steel-Hendrix Banquet, February 5, 5:30 p.m.

The 39th annual Steel-Hendrix Awards will honor four extraordinary church and community leaders on Monday, February 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Life and Technology Center’s Worsham Student Performance Hall North:

  • General Secretary Dr. Ashley Boggan of the United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History will receive the Mary and Ira Brumley Award for Religious Education;
  • Project Transformation Arkansas leaders the Rev. Sam Meadors, executive director, and Tamira Wimbish Valley, director of programming, will receive the Ethel K. Millar Award for Religion and Social Awareness; and
  • Blake Schrepfer of First United Methodist Church of Searcy, Arkansas, will be recognized as Hendrix College Youth Minister of the Year.

Banquet tickets are $25, with advance purchase required by Tuesday, January 30. View detailed information about this year’s Steel-Hendrix Award recipients and make banquet reservations here.

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Willson Lecture, February 5, 7 p.m.

Following the banquet and awards ceremony, Diana Butler Bass will deliver the Willson Lecture in the Student Life and Technology Center’s Worsham Student Performance Hall South. The lecture is free and open to the public and will combine with the College’s regularly scheduled Monday night campus worship service.

Gill Preaching Workshop participants will gather Tuesday, February 6, in the Student Life and Technology Center’s Worsham Hall North:

  • 8:30 to 9 a.m. – registration and check-in
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – workshop sessions led by Diana Butler Bass

The Gill Preaching Workshop fee is $35 per person, which includes lunch prepared by the award-winning Hendrix Dining Services. To learn more or register, visit by Wednesday, January 31.

About the Steel-Hendrix Awards

In 1984, Hendrix College inaugurated the annual Steel-Hendrix Awards to celebrate 100 years of its official relationship with the United Methodist Church. The awards were named in honor of Marshall T. Steel, a prominent minister and former president of the College.

About the Willson Lectures

The Willson Lectures were established at Hendrix College in 1956 for the purpose of bringing outstanding speakers to discuss spiritual values, sound family relations, and vital issues confronting the world today. The Willson Lectures are made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Jim Willson, who have established lectureships at 23 United Methodist colleges nationwide.

About the Gill Preaching Workshop

The John and Marjem Gill Preaching Workshop aims to strengthen the United Methodist Church by enhancing clergy’s ability to proclaim the gospel in ways that are relevant to the needs of our time, and to enhance dialogue and fellowship among clergy colleagues. Since 1984, Hendrix College has helped facilitate this annual gathering, providing clergy throughout Arkansas—United Methodists and others—with continuing education and training toward becoming more effective preachers.

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at   

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose