BIRMINGHAM – The Presbyterian Writers Guild held is traditional meeting at the General Assembly at noon Tuesday, focusing on honoring members of special distinction.
The Rev. Gayraud S. Wilmore, retired theologian and author focusing on African-American religion was presented the 2005-06 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award. The honor is given every two years to recognize the cumulative work and influence of a Presbyterian writer.
Wilmore, theologian and seminary professor, is also the author of 18 books and numerous articles, including “Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of African Americans.” His most recent book is “Pragmatic Spirituality: The Christian Faith Through an Africentric Lens.” He is and ordained Presbyterian minister.
Wilmore was cited for his scholarly efforts and actions in the cause of racial and social justice. He stands alone in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in speaking to what it means to be black and Presbyterian, Guild Vice President Jerry Van Marter, coordinator of Presbyterian News Service, told the gathering.
Poet W. Barrie Shepherd received the Lifetime Achievement Award in absentia with fellow poet and friend Ann Weems accepted on his behalf. She said whenever Shepherd sends her his poems to read and comment, her reaction always is, “Darn, I wish I’d written it!” She commended to the gathering Shepherd’s latest book, “What Ever Happened to Delight,” The word for both Shepherd’s book and poems is “stellar,” she said.
Laurel McKay Horton was acknowledged as the 2005 recipient of the Jim Angell Award for her book, “Mary Black’s Family Quilts: Memory and Meaning in Everyday Life.” The Angell Award is presented annually by the Guild to the most outstanding first book by a Presbyterian in the previous year.