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Rev. John L. McCullough Honored as 2012 Ecumenical Award Recipient

by Youngsook C Kang
May 2, 2012

The Rev. John L. McCullough was the recipient of the 2012 ecumenical award from the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. He was introduced by Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, who is the President of the General Commission on Christian Unity and the new Ecumenical Officer for the next quadrennium, on Tuesday, May 1 at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, FL.

As Bishop Swenson introduced him, McCullough is “an exceptional advocate for ecumenism in the life of the United Methodist Church and beyond. He brings commitment and great energy to international, national, and regional ecumenical work, including partnership with the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

The Rev. John L. McCullough is Executive Director and CEO of Church World Service (CWS), the international humanitarian agency. Under his leadership, CWS enjoys an international reputation as an innovative, adaptive and transformative leader in its programmatic fields.

McCullough has been at the forefront of efforts like Church World Service’s “Enough For All” campaign and the CWS Africa Initiative. Says McCullough, “Making our voices heard—especially in the corridors of power—is a moral imperative at a time when some view talk about economic inequality as politically incorrect and others view it as politically advantageous. For those of us in the ecumenical community it is justice, plain and simple. As long as society shortchanges our children and keeps families mired in poverty, our voices will never be silenced.”

A graduate of the Boston University School of Theology, Rev. McCullough has been honored with the school’s distinguished Alumnus award. He is an ordained minister in The United Methodist Church and has served pastorates in the United States and Kenya. Before joining CWS in 2000 he held leadership positions at the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

McCullough keeps himself humble in spite of many ecumenical accomplishments. He says, “This award is a total surprise for me. An amazing surprise.” John feels that this award is an affirmation of his ministry, as well as a wonderful recognition of Church World Service. John sums up his outstanding commitment to ecumenical work, saying, “We believe that there is enough food that no one should go hungry, enough water that no one should thirst, enough love that all children should reach their potential.”