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Rev. Ralph Epps receives the Distinguished Alumni Award

Ralph I. Epps D'50 was honored with the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award on Oct. 10 during Convocation & Pastors' School. Now retired in Edenton, N.C., Epps has served 14 appointments with 26 churches in all, continually working to help those in need.

Lawrence E. Lugar D'58 was named a 2005 Distinguished Alumnus of his undergraduate school, Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va. He is retired in Fayetteville, N.C., from United Methodist parish ministry.


William R. Ragsdale D'67, a retired United Methodist pastor, is currently serving as chaplain at the North Carolina State Nursing Home in Salisbury, N.C.

Dan Lee Hendricks D'73, G'77has been named vice president for advancement and public services at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. He was previously vice president and chief development officer for the Louisiana State University Foundation.

James R. Bailes D'75 has been elected to the National Alumni Council of the Duke Divinity School Alumni Association. He is a United Methodist pastor in Knoxville, Tenn.

Michael W. Safley D'75 has retired from the presidency of the Methodist Home for Children based in Raleigh, N.C. His service was celebrated by the board of directors with the establishment of an endowment in his name which will provide post-secondary education scholarships for youth who have been in the care of the MHC. Mike was also awarded the highest civilian honor granted in North Carolina, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Vergel L. Lattimore III D'77 has been inducted into the Livingstone College Alumni Leadership Hall of Fame. He is professor of pastoral care and counseling at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Delaware, Ohio.

John Patrick Colatch D'79 was a presenter at the Helen Barrett Montgomery Conference at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, held Nov. 3-5 in Rochester, N.Y. He presented “Welcoming the Stranger: Practices of Hospitality as a Prophetic Witness to Gay and Lesbian Persons in the United Methodist Church," which was based on research for his D.Min. degree. The focus of the conference was “Hospitality: Living Out Our Abundance."


ST Kimbrough Jr.


A Nov. 7, 2005 service of worship included the dedication and presentation of new Global Praise 3rd edition songbooks (General Board of Global Ministries UMC, edited by Dr. ST Kimbrough Jr. D'62, and highlights of Duke Divinity School student field education and academic experiences from around the world.

Kimbrough and his son, the Rev. Timothy Kimbrough T'79, D'83, rector of Church of the Holy Family, Chapel Hill, served as song leaders and liturgists.

Dr. Kimbrough presented the divinity school with 100 copies of the songbooks and introduced the congregation to more than a dozen selections from it. Divinity students offered multi-media and musical testimonies of their work in Uganda, Rwanda, Peru, South Africa and Brazil.

Duke Divinity School views its international efforts as a way of contributing to, learning from and being connected with churches around the world. These interactions play a critical role in the education and formation of students and faculty at the school. The synergy of sacred global music and the witness of global service will provide participants with a glimpse of the school's commitment to international ministry and spiritual expressions.

The service was sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain, Field Education and The Office of Black Church Studies.


Roy P. Smith D'80 is now director of ministries and assistant to the bishop for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Ark. The bishop of Arkansas is Charles N. Crutchfield D'68.

Robert C. Lyons D'82 requests prayer and will appreciate correspondence from the divinity school community in his service as senior chaplain for the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. His address: CH (MAJ) Robert C. Lyons, HHD 205th MI Brigade, APO AE 09342.

Won H. Un D'89, a United Methodist minister in Highland Springs, Va., has been elected to the National Alumni Council of the Duke Divinity School Alumni Association.


Patrick S. Hamrick T'90, D'92 and his wife, Laura Beaver Hamrick, are pleased to announce the Aug. 24, 2005, birth of their first child, Patrick Dunn. The Hamricks live in Greensboro, N.C., where Patrick is pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church and was recently elected to the board of directors of Hearts with Haiti Inc., an organization serving special needs and former street children in Haiti.

N. Burton Brooks Jr. D'92 is executive director of Church Funding Associates in Richmond, Va., a stewardship and financial consulting firm which assists local churches in annual and capital funds development.

Vertie Powers D'92 has been elected to the National Alumni Council of the Duke Divinity School Alumni Association. Based in Graham, N.C., she is associate conference minister for the ENCA Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Kenneth L. Nelson D'93 was united in holy wedlock to Angela R. Ford on Oct. 8, 2005, at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Sumter, S.C. Ken is the pastor of Centenary and Kingsville United Methodist Churches in Hartsville, S.C. Angela is the director of business controls for IBM in Greenville, S.C. The couple reside in Hartsville, S.C.

Graham Sebren Butler D'94 was awarded two bronze stars, one with a “V" device for heroism, for his actions in combat. He was a part of a Special Operations team that spearheaded the invasion of Baghdad. He is now in his second year of law school at Washington & Lee University and was recently married to Florentina Selaru.

L. Shane Stanford D'94, director of stewardship and discipling ministries for the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation, has written articles published widely and led seminars on organizational development and spiritual formation in over 70 congregations over the past two years. He and his wife, Pokey Stanford, are the parents of three young daughters. They reside in Petal, Miss.

Will Montgomery D'96 and his wife, Elizabeth, along with Matthew, 5, and Maggie, 2, announce the birth of Lucy Kathryn on June 3, 2005. Will is the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Smithfield, Va.

Carla Badgett Shield D'96 and her husband, Bob Shield, of Nederland, Texas, are the proud parents of Cara Elizabeth, who was born June 26, 2005. Carla is a United Methodist pastor and member emerita of the Divinity School's Board of Visitors.

Shane M. Benjamin D'97, a United Methodist minister in Durham, N.C., has been elected to serve on the National Alumni Council of the Duke Divinity School Alumni Association.

Erin A. Martin D'97 and her husband, Charles Collier, share the joyous news of the Sept. 27, 2005, birth of Elijah John. They reside in Southern Pines, N.C., where Erin serves as a United Methodist pastor.

Kristin Bargeron Grant D'99 and her husband, Matthews Grant, gladly share the news of the arrival of Elizabeth Wakefield, born on June 6, 2005. The Grants live in St. Paul, Minn.

Wayne M. Weathers D'99 is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. He is the pastor of Miller Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia.


George I. Ragsdale T'02, D'05 and Courtney Wells Morton T'05 were married in Duke Chapel on May 28, 2005. They now live in Burnley, England, where George is serving a Methodist parish.

Ryon L. Price D'04 and Irie Turner T'05 were married May 21, 2005. Ryon serves as minister of children and youth at Lowe's Grove Baptist Church in Durham, N.C.



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