Rosalynn Carter, Bevel Jones, Among Honorees at 2014 Day1 Benefit

Day1 Benefit Honors 2014 Community Leaders of Faith

Rosalynn Carter, Bishop Bevel Jones, Others Among Honorees at March 18 Event


Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter received the Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Service at the Day1 ministry's annual benefit on Tuesday, March 18, at a private club in Atlanta. For the sixth year the event honored several leaders who are well known for their commitment to the good of the community, and who also are deeply committed to their church and Christian faith. The event supports the Day1 ecumenical radio and internet ministry (formerly known as The Protestant Hour).

Mrs. Carter, who has worked for more than four decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world, spoke about the importance of her personal faith and how it energizes her desire to serve. She is a leading advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, which was founded by former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter in 1982.

Retired United Methodist Bishop L. Bevel Jones III was given the Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Communication. Jones, a religious leader in the Southeast for decades and a retired United Methodist bishop, was a longtime trustee of the Day1 parent organization, the Alliance for Christian Media. His award was accepted by his son, the Rev. Dr. David Jones.

Representatives from each of the participating denominations on Day1 were also recognized for their servant leadership in church and community. This year's honorees are:

·      Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: Joan and Kirby Godsey. Dr. Godsey is chancellor of Mercer University in Atlanta and Macon. The Godseys have been active community leaders in Atlanta, Macon, and throughout Georgia, and through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

·      The Episcopal Church: Dr. David Apple. Dr. Apple is medical director emeritus of Shepherd Center, and an active member of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip.

·      Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:  Amy and Walt Carpenter. Walt is a physician at Emory Healthcare and active in community and church service, and Amy is a full-time volunteer, serving as a leader at NovusWay Ministries, Lutheran Towers, Wellspring Living Girls Residential Program, as well as in their church, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

·      Presbyterian Church (USA): John and Sue Wieland. John is founder of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, and he and Sue have been committed to numerous philanthropic ventures. The Wielands are active members of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church.

·      United Church of Christ: The Hon. Gail S. Tuson. Judge Tuson serves in Superior Court of Fulton County, is a member of First Congregational UCC, and active in numerous community aid organizations.

·      United Methodist Church: Homer Rice. Rice is one of the nation's most respected collegiate administrators, having served as athletics director of Georgia Tech for many years. He is a member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

John Bachman, news anchor for WSB Channel 2 Action News and a trustee of the Alliance for Christian Media, served as the master of ceremonies for the event.

Event co-chairs were Angela Williamson, an Alliance trustee active in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and Susan Starr, who is a leader in civic organizations including the Georgia Trust and the wife of chair emeritus Mike Starr.

Produced and hosted by Peter Wallace, Day1 is distributed nationally to more than 200 stations each week, including News/Talk WSB in the Atlanta area (AM 750 and 95.5 FM, Sundays at 7:05 a.m.). It is also accessible by podcast at

The award-winning program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media in association with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.

Day1 began in 1945 when leaders of several major denominations and church-related colleges and seminaries came together with the goal of spreading the good news through radio. Every week since then, the program has presented compelling sermons from outstanding preachers from across America, bringing faith and hope to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. For more information, visit

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2014 Day1 Community Leaders of Faith Extended Biographies

Dr. David Apple.

Dr. Apple is a lifelong Episcopalian, being baptized in West Virginia, confirmed in Kentucky and a member of St. Philips Cathedral since 1970. He was a member of the Chapter of The Cathedral of St. Philips from 1979 to 1982. He and his wife Jane regularly attend either St. Philips or St. James in Rabun County where they have an apple orchard and vineyard. Currently, he is Medical Director Emeritus of Shepherd Center, which he co-founded with the Shepherd family in 1975.  Shepherd Center is the largest freestanding Center for the treatment of spinal cord injuries in the United States. He has had clinical appointments at Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia State University. Dr. Apple is past president of the American Spinal Injury Association, founding president of the Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Association and founding editor of the journal "Topics in Spinal Cord Injury." He has been assistant editor of the international journal "Spinal Cord" and vice president of the International Society of Spinal Cord Injury.  He is the recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year award of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery; the SCI Hall of Fame, and The American Spinal Injury Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been a member of the Shepherd Center Board of Directors since 1975. He served on The Lovett School Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1994 and remains an Emeritus member. For fun he served 30 years as the team physician for the Atlanta Hawks.  He and his wife Jane have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.


Amy and Walt Carpenter.

Walt is a physician at Emory Healthcare and Amy is a full-time volunteer. Life-long Lutherans, Walt has been involved at Redeemer Lutheran for over 35 years, and Amy for over 50 years. Amy serves on the Board of Trustees of NovusWay Ministries, a Lutheran outdoor ministry spanning seven states and four camps and conference centers, and as a couple they served on their Executive Round Table. Amy has also served for seven years, including four years as President, on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Towers, a senior residential community. In 2005, she was awarded the Trustee of the Year Award by the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (now LeadingAge Georgia). For the past two years she has been a life skills teacher for Wellspring Living's Girls Residential Program where child victims of sex trafficking are renewed and restored. Amy and Walt have served their congregation in multiple ways. They have served a collective 13 years on Redeemer's Congregation Council, have been involved in Christian Education and Member Care ministries, and Walt has served over 10 years on the Stewardship Board.


Joan and Kirby Godsey.

Dr. Godsey served 27 years as president of Mercer University before being named Chancellor in 2006. During his successful tenure, the enrollment grew to more than 7,300, and he established 7 of the university's 11 schools and colleges. Active in numerous civic, arts, education, and religious organizations, Kirby has received numerous honors, including the Macon Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and the highest honor bestowed by the Salvation Army. In 2006, both the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives honored him for his contributions to higher education, and the communities served by Mercer University. In 2006, Kirby and President Jimmy Carter helped organize and host a gathering of Baptist World Alliance leaders at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Kirby is the author of several books, including his most recent, "Is God a Christian?" and he preached on Day1 in 2012. Joan Stockstill Godsey is also active in her community, and was named the 2005 Distinguished Churchwoman of the Year by the Baptist Women in Ministry in Georgia, for her significant contributions to ministry, her dedication to mentoring other women in ministry, her leadership and commitment to her church. During the Civil Rights Movement, she took part in the Head Start program for underprivileged children near Selma, Alabama. She has been involved in church music programs as an organist and choirmaster, and is active in the Macon Community. Joan and Kirby are members of First Baptist Church in Macon, where Joan was ordained as a deacon.


Coach Homer Rice.

Homer has had one of the most remarkable and rewarding careers in the history of American sports, as teacher, coach, administrator, innovator, and author of seven books. Homer served in the Navy in the South Pacific Theater during World War II. After serving as an All-American quarterback in Centre College, then as a catcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, he began his football coaching career in Tennessee and Kentucky high schools. By 1961 he was given the "winningest football coach in America" award. He was offensive coach at the University of Kentucky and the University of Oklahoma, and head coach of the University of Cincinnati, Rice University, and the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. He was director of athletics at the University of North Carolina, and at Georgia Tech from 1980 to 1997, where he was known as the mastermind of the Nation's Biggest Turn Around in the History of the NCAA, taking Georgia Tech from last place in every sport to a national football championship, the first Final 4 in basketball, and number one in baseball, golf, Olympic track participants, and basketball. He also built the first Varsity Women's program. He originated the Student/Athlete Total Person Program in 1980, which will be his legacy. In 1996, he was senior administrator for the Olympic Village during the Atlanta Summer Games. A member of 14 Halls of Fame, Homer continues his leadership role as an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College in Sports, Society, and Technology. He is an active member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, and continually puts his faith into action.


Honorable Gail S. Tusan.

Judge Tusan has served on the bench for 29 years. Ambassador Andrew Young first appointed her as an administrative law judge for the city of Atlanta in 1984. In 1990, the late Mayor Maynard Jackson appointed her to serve on the City Court of Atlanta. Then Governor Zell Miller appointed her to the State Court of Fulton County in 1992, and after her election to keep that seat, he elevated her to the Superior Court of Fulton County in 1995. Gail is serving her fifth elected term of office as a Superior Court Judge. She was appointed the first Deputy Chief Judge of her court in May 2013, and as of last month she will be the first African-American Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County. Gail is a National Judicial College faculty member and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Emory Law School. She has served as chair of the Judicial Sections of the Gate City Bar Association and Atlanta Bar Association, President of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Camp Fire USA Georgia Council, and Vice President of the Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She has received numerous honors, including the 2009 Leah Ward Sears Distinction in Profession Legacy Award, the MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change's Peace and Justice Award, and many others. Judge Tusan and her husband, Dr. Carl V. Washington Jr., are members of the historic First Congregational Church UCC, where they serve faithfully as members of the Diaconate Board.


Sue and John Wieland.

Sue Wieland has devoted herself to Civic leadership for over three decades. Her Board service includes Columbia Seminary, The Westminster Schools, The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, the Atlanta Women's Foundation, Atlanta Children's Shelter, Habitat for Humanity Atlanta, Families First (where she chaired the Board) and as a Deacon at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. John Wieland, founder of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, is an Elder at North Avenue, and his prior service there includes Chairing the Diaconate, Chairing with Sue the annual World Missions Conference, and serving on two Senior Pastor Search Committees. Civic engagement has included the High Museum of Art Board, the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank Board of Directors and the Emory University Board of Visitors, all of which he chaired. He is also a former member of the International Board of Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center Board of Councilors.


**Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Communication

Bishop L. Bevel Jones III.**

Bishop Jones is the retired bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has been a strong and beloved leader in the United Methodist Church as well as in ecumenical circles for over half a century. In the North Georgia Conference, he served as pastor of several churches in the Atlanta area, including St. Mark in Midtown and Decatur First United Methodist, before his election as resident bishop of the Western North Carolina conference, based in Charlotte. An active leader in the church during the Civil Rights Movement, and a signer of what is now known as "A Minister's Manifesto" decrying school segregation in 1957, Bevel is the author of a powerful memoir, "One Step Beyond Caution." A trustee emeritus of Emory University, he served as bishop in residence at Emory's Candler School of Theology, which with the support of his friends and colleagues recently established the L. Bevel Jones III Chair in the Practice of Ministry in his honor to recognize his outstanding leadership in the church and community. Bishop Jones was a trustee for the Protestant Hour and the Alliance for Christian Media for many years, and has been a participant and leader in this ministry since the 1950s. He preached on Day1 in 2003 and 2005. Through his entire ministry, Bishop Jones has been a masterful, humble, and winsome proclaimer of the Word of God, a consummate communicator of what he has called "the warm, intelligent gospel of the mainline churches." He has had an incredibly effective ministry in the pulpit, in print, on the radio, television, and online for more than 60 years.


**Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Service

Rosalynn Carter.**

Mrs. Carter has worked for more than four decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world.  Today, she is a leading advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center, a private, nonprofit institution founded by former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter in 1982. A member of the Carter Center Board of Trustees, she created and chairs the Carter Center's Mental Health Task Force, an advisory body of experts, consumers, and advocates promoting positive change in the mental health field.  Each year, she hosts the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, bringing together leaders of the nation's mental health organizations to address critical issues.  She also served on the Policy Advisory Board of The Atlanta Project (TAP), a program of The Carter Center addressing the social ills associated with poverty and quality of life citywide, from the program's inception in 1991 until its transfer to Georgia State University in 1999.

Outside the center, Mrs. Carter is president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI), which was established in her honor on the campus of her alma mater, Georgia Southwestern State University, in Americus, Georgia.  Through research, education, and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers; delineates effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities. A mother of four, with 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, she has maintained a life long dedication to issues affecting women and children.  She also works with Habitat for Humanity, participating in the annual weeklong Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project that in 1984 began building homes for the needy, and Project Interconnections, a public/private nonprofit partnership to provide housing for homeless people who are mentally ill.  She is currently a distinguished fellow at the Emory University Department of Women's Studies in Atlanta. Mrs. Carter has received numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.  In 2001 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. The author of five books, including her autobiography First Lady from Plains, she is a deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.