Recognizing Leaders in Christian Service

By Mark A. Taylor

Since 2001 Standard Publishing has partnered with Milligan College in Tennessee to recognize outstanding Christian leaders. It’s a natural joint venture: Milligan’s work is educating men and women who will provide Christian influence in the marketplace as well as from a minister’s office; and Standard Publishing is committed to providing Bible teaching tools for all the leaders a church recruits.

CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s goals are equipping, informing, and connecting leaders in our fellowship. So it’s only natural that we should be a major voice in this recognition. Leaders like these are at the center of our mission too.

And so we’re glad to list the recipients of this year’s Leaders in Christian Service award. These were recognized at a special breakfast at the North American Christian Convention in Louisville. These descriptions of service do not adequately convey the impact these Christian leaders are having in their communities, their congregations, and around the world. Each of them is a model for any of us who wants to lead by serving Christ.

Cody Custer of Wickenburg, Arizona, is a professional bull rider and one of the founders of Professional Bull Riders Inc. Custer is the 1992 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion. He retired after the 2003 season, having qualified for the Professional Bull Riding World Finals nine times. Custer has been involved in the Pro Bull Riding Outreach, a Christian program for bull riders and fans

Tommy Greer , Johnson City, Tennessee, is a certified public accountant and a managing partner for Blackburn, Childers and Steagall. He serves on the Economic Development Board and the boards of Appalachian Christian Camp and the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House. He is an elder involved in several ministries at First Christian Church in Johnson City.

H. David Hale , Louisville, Kentucky, is the president and CEO of First Capital Bank of Kentucky. He served as West Virginia’s banking commissioner under Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV. He serves on boards with the Kentucky Youth Association, Lincoln Foundation, and several colleges. He attends Fern Creek Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Troy Hammond of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the vice president of products for Plexitronics Inc. He spent many years with McKinsey and Company, a leading global business consulting firm. He has been involved in the establishment of Discovery Christian Church in Cranberry Township, north of Pittsburgh, and teaches quantitative methods for management in the Milligan College MBA program.

Jim Hensley , originally from Bristol, Tennessee, is the retired director of development for Angeles Crest Christian Camp near Los Angeles, California. During his 24 years with Angeles Crest, he developed a Senior Adult Celebration and raised millions of dollars in church and individual support for the camp. Most recently he has been involved in the establishment of Financial Planning Ministry, where he serves as chairman of the board. He and his wife recently relocated to Carrollton, Georgia.

Ellen Myatt , Blountville, Tennessee, was recently named publisher of the Rogersville Review . She is the former publisher of the Business Journal of Tri Cities. She has served with the Tri Cities TN/VA All America City Partnership, the Tri Cities TN/VA Economic Summit, and the Salvation Army. Her efforts on behalf of children through educational initiatives such as 2010 and Junior Achievement have made a significant difference in the lives of many. She serves as a teacher, choir member, and on the food ministry at Colonial Heights Christian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Virgil and Carol Plymale lived and served in Columbus, Ohio, until their retirement in 2002. They were active members of Madison Christian Church in Groveport, Ohio, and led several mission trips to England, Haiti, Mexico, and Brazil. Since retirement, they have traveled throughout the world to serve churches, mission agencies, Christian camps, schools, hurricane relief, and anywhere there was a need. They reside in Broomfield, Colorado.

Dr. Mark Webb is a dentist in Bristol, Tennessee. He has made seven trips to provide dental work at missions in Haiti and Mexico, and is working with a representative of FAME on plans for a proposed mission hospital in Mexico. For more than 20 years, Webb has provided low cost dental work to the children of Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Va. He is a member of the Bristol City Planning Commission, the announcer for Tennessee high school football games, a member of the Kiwanis Club, and serves on the boards of the Appalachian Christian Camp and Milligan College. He is an elder at Central Holston Christian Church in Bristol.

Dr. Brent Welch, Johnson City, Tennessee, is a gastroenterologist with the Gastrointestinal Associates of Northeast Tennessee. He has been a member of the Johnson City Rotary Club and has served leadership positions for the University of Tennessee Alumni Association and Boy Scouts of America. As an elder at First Christian Church in Johnson City, he initiated the development of a long range strategic plan that has helped the church implement several new ministries.

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