Ms. Maria Averhart, Ms. Helen Hawthorne and Ms. Valerie Moore of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio will receive the 2017 Shine the Light Award from American Baptist Women's Ministries. The award is presented to outstanding light-bearers for Christ in mission and ministry. A time of special recognition takes place during Women's Day, on Friday, June 30 2017 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

The Shine the Light Award was created in 2011 by the American Baptist Women's Ministries national board with the goal of recognizing Amercan Baptist women who have made outstanding strides in sharing the Gospel.  The  ABWM National Board is pleased to present this  award to Ms. Averhard, Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Moore who have heeded the call to "let [their] light shine before others, so that [all] may see [their] good works and give glory to [their] Father who is in heaven," (Matthew 5:16). Continue reading to find out more about our ABC Ohio women who will receive this special award...

Ms. Averhart, Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Moore were nominated by Mildred Archie of St. John Missionary Baptist Church for their involvement in three critical ministries of the church. Ms. Averhart envisioned and leads Operation Give Back, to help prepare children who are going back to school in the fall by supplying necessary school supplies, book bags and clothing. The ministry also provides food and furniture and prays with clients while they are waiting in line. The ministry serves between 600 and 1300 people. Last year more than 25 people became new believers in Christ. 

Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Moore launched the Thanksgiving Annual Feast four years ago and serve between 75 and 100 people. This is ministry is more than a meal. Church members join to greet and have conversations with guests while spreading the love of Christ during the meals. In addition to the Thanksgiving Feast, Ms. Moore has launced the "Your Health" ministry with the goal of creating a church-based health clinic at St. John to increase the community's knowledge of resources available.