AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) announced seven recipients of the TMF Medallion of Merit, the organization's highest honor. TMF President Tom Locke presented the awards at its gala on November 20, 2016. The honor is bestowed on individuals who have made a significant contribution towards advancing the mission of TMF and/or The United Methodist Church (UMC). Their leadership and influence spans the south central region of the United Methodist Church including New Mexico, Texas and beyond.
The 2016 TMF Medallion of Merit recipients are:
- Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe – currently serving as bishop of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas Conferences, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Bishop Janice Riggle Huie – recently completed 12 years as bishop of the Houston area, retiring after a forty-year career in the UMC
- Dr. Gilbert R. Rendle, Jr. – noted author, speaker, facilitator and senior vice president of TMF's Leadership Ministry for the past 11 years
- Robert T. Rork – leader in his local congregation, Alamo Heights UMC in San Antonio, and serving on many United Methodist-related boards, including chair of TMF's board during a time of tremendous growth
- W. Hiram Smith – long-time chair of TMF Grants Committee and respected leader for service at every level of the UMC, including a variety of civic, business, and religious leadership roles in his hometown of DeLeon, Texas
- James V. Walzel – successful Houston businessman, noted philanthropist, and leader in advancing many United Methodist institutions and causes
- James B. Waterfield, III (posthumous) – revered for his contributions to the civic, social, and religious life of his hometown of Canadian, Texas, and for his service throughout the UMC
"We value these thoughtful leaders and their willingness to steward the potential of TMF and the wider United Methodist community," said Locke.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, TMF is a nonprofit organization offering assistance to United Methodists throughout Texas and New Mexico through financial and leadership resources. Leading from its core values of servanthood, integrity and competence, TMF has been serving United Methodist congregations for more than 75 years. It is the largest United Methodist foundation in the country with more than $500 million in assets under management. To learn more, please visit http://www.tmf-fdn.org.