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Four to Receive Steel-Hendrix Awards; Rawle to Deliver Willson Lecture, Lead Gill Workshop at Hendrix College

Brenda Norwood Henson, Janice & Byron Mann, Carissa Tarkington to be honored at March 6 banquet; Rev. Matt Rawle follows with March 6 evening lecture and March 7 workshop

CONWAY, Arkansas (November 18, 2022) – 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 March 6 and 7, 2023: The Steel-Hendrix Awards, the Willson Lecture, and the John and Marjem Gill Preaching Workshop.

The 38th annual Steel-Hendrix Awards will honor four extraordinary church and community leaders on Monday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Life and Technology Center’s Worsham Student Performance Hall: 

  • Brenda Norwood Henson will receive the Mary and Ira Brumley Award for Religious Education;
  • Janice and Byron Mann will receive the Ethel K. Millar Award for Religion and Social Awareness; and
  • Carissa Tarkington will be recognized as Hendrix College Youth Minister of the Year.

View detailed information about this year’s Steel-Hendrix Award recipients and reserve banquet tickets here.

Following the Steel-Hendrix Awards Banquet, the Hendrix College Office of Religious Life welcomes the Rev. Matt Rawle to campus to deliver the 2023 Willson Lecture and to lead the 2023 John and Marjem Gill Preaching Workshop.

The Willson Lecture is free and open to the public. Rawle, an author and current lead pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church of Bossier City, Louisiana, will preach March 6, 2023, at 7 p.m., as part of the regular Monday night worship service in Greene Chapel on the Hendrix campus. 

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Gill Preaching Workshop participants will gather in the Student Life and Technology Center’s Worsham Hall North. Rawle’s theme for the day-long workshop is “Jesus Revealed in an Augmented Age.”

  • 8:30 to 9 a.m. – registration and check-in
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – workshop sessions

The cost for the workshop is $35 per person, which includes lunch prepared by the award-winning Hendrix Dining Services. To learn more or register, visit by Wednesday, March 1, 2023. 

About the Presenter and the Gill Preaching Workshop

The Rev. Matt Rawle was ordained in 2010 as an Elder in the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Duke Divinity School, where he was named a Divinity Fellow and received the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts Award. He has written or co-written 11 books, including his most recent, Jesus Revealed: The I Am Statements of John, which will be available at the workshop.

Details on Rawle’s theme for the Gill Preaching Workshop: United Methodist practical theology is currently being lived out within cultural expressions associated with three distinct periods: the Industrial Age, the Information Age, and the emerging Augmented Age. Most of our churches commune within Industrial Age thinking – putting money in offering plates, registering worship attendance on a pew pad or registration card, and phone tree reminders for upcoming events. Fewer of our churches are living into Information Age thinking – online giving, QR codes for worship attendance, and texting or email services to share programmatic information. Fewer still are adopting the current cultural reality of the Augmented Age – auto draft from digital currency gains, geofencing campuses, or intuitive devotion technology. In this fun, interactive, and informative workshop, Matt Rawle will both detail why living into the Augmented Age is important for our communities of faith and offer practical and innovative steps for sharing Jesus from behind the pulpit and beyond.

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 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 Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit