Allen Recognized With Miller Award
The Rev. Karen Allen, associate pastor of education at Brownson Memorial Presby-terian Church, in Southern Pines, received the 2009 Robert D. Miller Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and her contributions to Christian education.
All of the Presbyterian Churches (USA) in the Sandhills area belong to a larger area organization called the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina. The Presbytery contains almost 200 churches whose pastors are eligible for various awards. At a recent meeting of the Presbytery, Allen was shocked to be announced as the Presbytery's "Church Educator of the Year."
Allen grew up in the Sandhills area and attended Brownson with her parents, Nancy and Joe Currie. She worked out of the area for several years for the Presbyterian Church (USA), primarily in the camp, retreat and conference center arena.
Five years ago, Allen accepted the position of associate pastor of education at Brownson and moved back to the area with her husband, the Rev. Robert Allen.
Back in the church of her youth, with a wealth of experience to offer, Allen drove improvements to the curriculum, class participation and the involvement of members of the church as teachers and advisers.
She established a new program known as "God's Kids," which is geared toward the younger children at the church and includes Bible lessons, arts and crafts, recreation, camping and a service component; 25 to 35 children attend this monthly program.
"Christian education for adults thrives at Brownson," says Missy Quis, an elder who works with Allen. "A new class for adults had to take out a wall to expand its room due to increasing attendance."
Over the past few years, the "Disciple" Bible study classes have been important to many Brownson members.
The grand culmination of "Disciple" study came in November 2008 when Allen led 24 Brownson members on a tour of Greece and Turkey, "Following in the Footsteps of Paul." One "Disciple" class and four other evening and weekday studies are planned for this fall.
Church Elder Bruce Bullock echoes the sentiments of many at Brownson when he says, "She is a great inspiration to me and all who work with her in our church."
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