BSK student wins BWIM award for outstanding pastoral leadership

BSK student wins BWIM award for outstanding pastoral leadership

Baptist Seminary of Kentucky student Cheri L. Mills has been selected by Baptist Women in Ministry for its 2022 Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry.

The honor is given each year to a Baptist woman enrolled at a seminary or divinity school affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Cheri will receive the award, which includes a cash prize, on June 28 at the annual BWIM National Gathering. The meeting will be held in Dallas in conjunction with the CBF General Assembly.

Since 1993, Cheri has served as church administrator of St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville. She also founded the 1 Voice Prayer Movement, an ecumenical prayer ministry focused on praying for justice for people who are impoverished and oppressed.

One of her BSK professors, Mark Medley, wrote about Cheri’s commitment to prayer in a letter supporting her nomination for the award: “Cheri has nurtured and encouraged an understanding of prayer as an act of solidarity with the wounded, broken, and oppressed people in her community, in Kentucky, in the United States, and in the world.”

She also was endorsed for the honor by Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen, who cited her multi-faceted contributions to the congregation: “As a pastoral leader at St. Stephen, the largest African-American congregation in Kentucky, her involvement is central and pivotal to the ministries of our church, making her an integral part of the church’s extensive growth.” In addition to Louisville, St. Stephen has campuses in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Radcliff, Kentucky.

In her application for the award, Cheri said BSK “has been instrumental in the development of my capacity to engage the church and the world – both theologically and ethically.”

While a student at BSK, Cheri has authored three books, Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery; The Angela Project Presents 40 Days of Prayer for the Liberation of American Descendants of Slavery; and The Angela Project Presents The 400th Year Commemoration Ceremony 1619-2019: Commemorating 400 Years of Institutionalized Slavery in Colonized America.

In addition to her M.Div. studies at BSK, Cheri holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Kentucky University.

BWIM presents two awards to seminarians each year named for Addie Davis, the first Southern Baptist woman ordained to the gospel ministry. Besides the pastoral leadership award, there is also a preaching honor, which this year was won this year by Angela Zimmerman, a student at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Cheri is the fourth BSK student to win the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Pastoral Leadership since 2015. Previous BSK winners include Crystal Shepherd (2015), Margaret Brooks (2016), and Scarlette Jasper (2019).