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Dr. Jack Harnish Honored with the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award

July 8, 2013

President Philip Amerson presented the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award to Dr. John “Jack” Harnish for his years of extraordinary service and ministry to The United Methodist Church on June 23rd. President Amerson presented the award at an event being held in Harnish’s honor at First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Michigan for his 43 years of ministry.

Harnish has served churches in Pennsylvania, Washington, and Michigan and also served as the associate general secretary of The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for seven years. During his years in ministry Harnish visited 26 countries to help establish and strengthen churches and seminaries. Harnish retired from full-time ministry in June after eight years as senior pastor at First UMC in Birmingham, Michigan.

“Throughout his ministry Jack has behaved as a bridge builder, a connector, an initiator and supporter for new forms of ministry. As pastor, denominational leader, and supporter of theological education, Jack continually brought persons together,” said President Phillip Amerson. “This award recognizes Dr. Harnish as an ‘Extraordinary Practitioner of God's Propinquity.’ We are delighted to celebrate Dr. Harnish's remarkable ministry and his commitment to welcome and celebrate the many expressions of God's activity in ministry.”

Garrett-Evangelical is also pleased to announce that in May, the John E. Harnish Scholarship was established for students preparing for ordained ministry. One of Dr. Harnish's passions throughout his ministry has been the desire to encourage candidates for ordained ministry and this scholarship continues that passionate legacy. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship, you can do so online at and designating your gift to the John E. Harnish Scholarship.

The Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award is presented in the name and spirit of Eliza Clark Garrett, who was the inspiration and chief benefactor/founder of Garrett Biblical Institute. Founded in 1853, the school has grown and evolved into Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. The award is given to honor persons who, by their imaginative acts of communal restoration and healing, reflect God's mission and purposes for our world.