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VTS Announced 2013 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award

3/1/2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA –
Mr. G. Gates De Hart III, long-time parishioner at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, VA, has received Virginia Theological Seminary’s 2013 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award. The award, given each year by the Seminary honors an Episcopal layperson who recognizes "leadership and unique witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ within his or her congregation, community, diocese and in the world."

“The Lettie Pate Award raises up our most fundamental obligations by virtue of baptism,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. “I am delighted that Gates is such a worthy recipient of this award.”

The LPWE Committee selected DeHart, a retired school teacher, because of his commitment to serving the homeless. DeHart helped found the Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Roanoke Valley, now known as Family Promise of Greater Roanoke (FPGR). In addition to his leadership within FPGR, DeHart has spearheaded St. John’s participation in the 15-year-old organization, developing an extensive network of St. John’s volunteers.

“Gates sets the gold standard for a life lived in the service of others,” said the Rev. Sandy Webb (VTS ‘10) who nominated DeHart for the LPWE Award. “His deep personal commitment to serving the least among us inspires others to do likewise and to follow the example of Christ. When it comes to ministry, I am humbled to be one of his priests, and am honored to have him as my inspiration.”

Since its inception, FPGR has adopted 366 homeless families, including 663 children, and provided full-time case management to address the root causes of homelessness. Through St. Johns and 26 other congregational partners, FPGR provides interview training, job assistance, overnight housing and meals. The organization reports that 70 percent of its clients transition to permanent housing.

Established in 1999, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award honors the legacy of Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, an Episcopal laywoman, philanthropist and friend of Virginia Seminary. In selecting a recipient for this award, the LPWE Committee considers those who "affirm in their lives that Christian ministry is not limited to the ordained and that the people of God all have crucial roles in witnessing to God's kingdom."

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and 5 different countries, for service in the Church.