» 2017 Founders Day Speakers

photo of Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon
The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, one of the most prominent and influential ecumenical leaders and educators of our time, was the ninth General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. Prior to his unanimous election in 2007, he was chair of the Council’s Justice and Advocacy Commission. He also served as General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union (now Churches Uniting in Christ) and as an Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission.
Dr. Kinnamon, now retired, was a seminary and university professor for thirty years, also serving as Dean of Lexington Theological Seminary from 1988-98. He has lectured and preached on ecumenical and other themes across the United States and in numerous regions overseas, especially South Asia and the Middle East. His most recent writings in the field of ecumenical and interfaith studies include Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?: Questions for the Future of Ecumenism (2014), The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices, 2nd Edition (2015), and The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear (2017).
photo of Frank Thomas
Frank A. Thomas
Frank A. Thomas currently serves as Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary of Indianapolis, Indiana. His newest book is the revised and updated version of They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration In Preaching, considered by many to be a classic. American Dream 2.0: A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession, was released by Abingdon Press in August, 2012. Preaching With Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons, 1750 to the Present, co-edited by Martha Simmons, offers a rare view of the unheralded role of the African American preacher in American history. He is the CEO of Hope For Life International, Inc. which formerly published The African American Pulpit.
Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Communications (Rhetoric) from the University of Memphis, D.Min. degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts degree in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University. Thomas also serves as a member of the International Board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of homiletic professors.
Thomas and his wife, Rev. Dr. Joyce Scott Thomas, earned their Certified Professional Coaching Certificates (CPC) from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. While they are equipped to coach corporate, executive, business, life, personal, or group, their most passionate areas are pastors, pastor’s spouses, and coaching in the area of preaching.

Church Leaders of the Year Recipients

The following are the award recipients for 2017.

photo of Nora Jacob
Nora Jacob
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
photo of  Matt Balin and Tracy Halter-Balin
Matt Balin and Tracy Halter-Balin
United Church of Christ