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The Gillison Award for Racial Healing, established in 2011, memorializes the life of the Reverend Dr. John Gillison. Dr. Gillison, AME Clergy and Presiding Elder, was active in civil rights working across society’s racial boundaries to build racial justice and healing. From 1979-1982, he was president of the SC Christian Action Council and was a life-long supporter of the Council. At his election, the Council was the first non-segregated organization in South Carolina to elect an African American as its President. Awardees include The Rev. Jesse Washington, former Commissioner of the SC Human Affairs Commission; Bishop Herman Yoos, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The members and leaders of the SC Region of the Christian Church (Disciples in Christ); Charles Rowland, former newspaper editor, Walterboro; and the Reverend Leon Maxwell, Pastor, St. Peter’s AME Church, Walterboro.
Rabbi Stephanie Alexander
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Charleston
The Reverend Nelson B. Rivers III
Pastor, Charity Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston
The Reverend Dr. Jeremy Rutledge
Pastor, Circular Congregational Church (UCC), Charleston
In recognition of your exemplary example of intentionally forging relationships to witness to the Oneness of the Human Family, the investment it takes to show others this truth, and the power for justice acting in Oneness brings.  By design the award recognizes relationships and is never given to one person. This is the first threesome, the first awardee class to include a woman, and the first to include our shared Jewish heritage.
The Christian Action in Ecumenism Award recognizes an individual or group in South Carolina who provide significant leadership or action in ecumenical or interfaith relations effecting understanding, respect and cooperation within the faith community. The first Christian Action Award was given 1963. Recipients include members of the following faiths: Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Jewish, and inter-faith service organizations.
The Rev. Jeannine R. Smalls
Pastor, Grace Chapel AME Church, Beaufort
With this award the Council recognizes Reverend Small’s ecumenical witness as the founder of the United Interfaith Community Coalition of Beaufort. Our English word “ecumenism” comes from the Greek oikumene meaning the inhabited world, the universe. With this award the Council recognizes her heart and delicate ministry of inclusion in the greater Beaufort area toward our common task building understanding and justice.