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Presbyterian Outlook board honors Brian K. Blount with E.T. Thompson award

Brian K. Blount, a New Testament scholar, preacher, teacher, and leader, was honored with the lifetime achievement award during the Outlook’s webinar on June 6.

Brian Blount speaks at UPS retirement.

Photo by Skip Rowland, courtesy of Union Presbyterian Seminary

The board of directors of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation selected Dr. Brian K. Blount as the recipient of the 2024 Ernest Trice Thompson Award. The award, the functional equivalent of a lifetime achievement award in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was presented at the Presbyterian Outlook’s “A conversation with moderator candidates” webinar on June 6.

Brian Blount and Presbyterian Outlook Board Chair Matt Rich.

The award is named for Ernest Trice Thompson, the founder of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, its board chair and co-editor for nearly 60 years until his death in 1985. He was an educator, historian, church journalist, leader in the church’s social witness and tireless worker for church union. He also served as moderator of the 99th General Assembly of the PCUS (1959). The award is presented to church leaders who represent these convictions and have given exemplary leadership in their pursuit. They are affirmed as such by board vote upon nomination by the editor.

The board of directors of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, Inc., unanimously conferred the Ernest Trice Thompson Award to Blount for his distinctive service to the Presbyterian Church and to those causes the Presbyterian Outlook has advocated throughout its history.

Recently retiring from his role as President and Professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Blount also served in such esteemed positions as Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Princeton Theological Seminary, as President and Vice President of the Society of Biblical Literature, and as President and Vice President of the Association of Theological Schools.

A sought-after and distinguished lecturer, preacher, and teacher, Blount is known to be generous with his time and responsive in meeting the educational needs of the church.

Brian and Sharon Blount. Photo courtesy of Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Blount’s scholarship is influential. He is the author of six critical biblical interpretation books, including Go Preach! Mark’s Kingdom Message and the Black Church Today, Can I Get a Witness? Reading Revelation Through an African American Lens, and his award-winning New Testament Library Series commentary, Revelation. He is the co-author of two books including, Preaching the Gospel of Mark in Two Voices with Gary W. Charles; and he has served as general editor of volumes of essays and commentaries, including True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary. Blount is also the editor of the forthcoming revised, reframed, and expanded Interpretation Bible Commentary series by Westminster John Knox Press.

Blount has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 41 years. Sharon Blount, a lifelong Presbyterian and an exceptional and generous leader herself, served as the President of the Presbyterian Outlook board for five years. Sharon and Brian are blessed with two children, Joshua and Kaylin.

“I could not be happier for Brian (and Sharon). It is a pleasure to see Brian recognized for his lifetime of faithful and inspiring leadership,” said Dr. Jacqueline Lapsley, who succeeded Blount in 2023 as president of Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Past recipients of the E.T. Thompson Award include O. Benjamin Sparks III, Cliff Kirkpatrick, Syngman Rhee, Laura Mendenhall, Heath Rada, Barbara Wheeler, Joseph Small and John Buchanan.