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Distinguished Alums 2001

Jesse DeWitt

Jesse DeWitt, recipient of the Distinguished Alum award, graduated from Garrett Biblical Institute in 1948 with a master of theological studies degree following undergraduate work in business administration at Wayne State University. He also pursued graduate studies in sociology at Wayne State from 1948 to 1954. After serving as a Michigan pastor for more than 12 years, he worked with the Board of Missions in Detroit and New York. DeWitt was appointed the first superintendent of the Detroit West District in 1967, and elected to the Office of the Bishop in 1972. He served as bishop for 16 years, the first half in Wisconsin and the second half in the Chicago area. He retired in 1988. Following retirement, DeWitt attended the 1997 National Council of Churches in Cuba and went with a team to North and South Korea in 1992 to help negotiate the reunification strategy, and went to crises-struck Zambia and Bolivia on behalf of the General Board of Global Ministries. DeWitt also served on a human rights fact-finding team to Guatemala in 1994.


Jonathan D. Keaton

Jonathan D. Keaton, recipient of the Distinguished Alum award, graduated from Garrett Theological Seminary in 1971 with a master of divinity degree, and doctorate in sacred theology in 1979 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He served as a pastor in Northern Illinois churches from 1970 until 1982, when he became associate council director of the Northern Illinois Conference. In 1996, after six years as district superintendent in Aurora, he was elected bishop and appointed to the Ohio East Area, where he currently serves. Keaton was active in the General Council on Ministries from 1988-1996, and traveled to Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East on behalf of the council. He is a member of the National Black Methodists for Church Renewal and served as chairperson of The United Methodist Development Fund and Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century.