RICHMOND — Union Theological Seminary-PSCE student, Jessica Tate, will receive the 2007 David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award, it was announced today. The $10,000 national award is given by Madison Avenue Church in New York City to a final year Master of Divinity seminary student who demonstrates distinction in preaching and biblical scholarship and is committed to pulpit ministry.
Jessica will receive a dual degree, Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Education, at Union-PSCE’s commencement on May 26.
“Jessica came to seminary with many gifts. Chief among them is her gift for preaching. Her sermons are consistently outstanding, I believe, because of her careful exegetical work, her attentiveness to the needs and situation of her listeners, and, most of all, her passion for the gospel,” said Dr. Beverly Zink-Sawyer, professor of preaching and worship at Union-PSCE.
Dr. John Carroll, Harriet Robertson Fitts Memorial Professor of New Testament and Dean of Union-PSCE said, “Jessica Tate is an accomplished exegete of biblical texts, a gifted preacher, an outstanding community leader, and a gracious, poised, and mature young woman of unquestioned character and integrity. Each sermon I have heard her preach has worked faithfully with the biblical text and has been delivered with clarity, elegance, and power.”
The award required that each candidate submit text and audio from two sermons delivered in front of a congregation. As the winner of the award, Jessica will preach at Madison Avenue Church on June 17.
Earlier this spring, Jessica was also selected by the faculty to receive Union-PSCE’s 2007 preaching award, the E.T. George Award for Excellence in Homiletics, Worship, and Public Speaking.
She is the daughter of the Rev. Tom Tate (D.Min.’78), pastor of Plaza Church in Charlotte, N.C. Tom served as director of admissions at Union Seminary after earning his degree, and Jessica was born in Richmond during that time. She received a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was active in the Presbyterian campus ministry.
The David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award was established by the Madison Avenue congregation to honor their former pastor, a renowned preacher, scholar, and author, upon his retirement in 1989. Dr. Read died in 2001. Born in Scotland, Read was chaplain to the British forces in World War II. He served the Madison Avenue Church from 1956-1989.