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Garrett-Evangelical to Honor Three Alumni at Commencement

May 15, 2013

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will honor three alumni for their service in The United Methodist Church at the 156th Commencement on May 17, 2013. Bishop Sharon Rader, retired bishop and previously bishop-in-residence at Garrett-Evangelical, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Rev. Jane Eesley, an elder in the Northern Illinois Conference, and Rev. Earl Francis Lindsay, retired elder in the Wisconsin Conference, will be honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards for their important service to the Church and the world.

Before her election to the episcopacy, Rader (G-ETS 1976) served as pastor in Battle Creek and East Lansing, Michigan, and Chicago. While she was the district superintended in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rader was elected to the episcopacy and assigned to the Wisconsin Area. As bishop, she was the secretary of the Council of Bishops from 1996-2004. She is currently the ecumenical officer for the Council of Bishops and has been a leader in The United Methodist Church as a member of the General Council on Ministries, the General Commission on Communications, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. 

Eesley (G-ETS 1996) has served pastorates in Rockford, Chicago, Naperville, and DeKalb. She has been active in mission work as she served with the Mission Intern Program from 1990-1993 and spent a year and a half working in Arab East Jerusalem with the Infant Welfare Centre. She has taught extensively about Christians in the Middle East, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and interfaith relations and founded the Middle East Network of United Methodists, which is an affiliate of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. 

In his long years of ministry, Lindsay (GBI 1958) served churches in Madison, Portage, Whitewater, West Allis, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. He also led the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation, where he was instrumental in promoting stewardship education and facilitating numerous financial campaigns across the conference. Additionally, Lindsay’s leadership at the Manor Park Foundation achieved substantial success in funding a number of initiatives and programs, including the Olsen Rehabilitation Center and the Sanford Archives Center. In his 44 years of professional ministry, he raised 38 million dollars for church causes, had 16 people from his churches enter full-time ministry, and received 2,600 members into The United Methodist Church. 

The 156th Commencement of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Evanston, 516 Church Street, Evanston, Illinois.