LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. - The Foundation for Evangelism announced the selection of the Rev. Dr. Kent Millard, senior pastor of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, as the 2007 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church. The Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church Award is given annually by The Foundation for Evangelism to a person who has been recognized as an extraordinary United Methodist leader in the field of evangelism.

Dr. Jack Ewing, executive director of The Foundation for Evangelism made the presentation Nov. 2 during the Foundation's annual banquet at Lake Junaluska. In accepting the award, Millard spoke movingly of his alcoholic father's life-altering encounter with Christ, the subsequent impact on the family and of his personal experience with the transforming love of God through Jesus Christ. He further highlighted how his personal encounter with Dr. Harry Denman shaped his approach to evangelism.

Millard accepted the award on behalf of the team at St. Luke's UMC. The outstanding evangelism of this church has added 1,179 people to its membership with 716 of these joining by profession of faith is the work of the Church in the past four years. "The mission of St. Luke's is to be an open community who gather to seek, celebrate, live and share the love of God for all creation," Millard stated.

St. Luke's UMC has nearly 6,000 members with an average weekly worship attendance of more than 3,200 in 12 different services. Millard highlighted the impact of the satellite services, The Garden, which are held in a dinner theatre as one of the major influences on the professions of faith.

Millard and his wife, Minnietta have two children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys spending his free time bicycling, canoeing, visiting with his grandchildren and in reflection.

The Foundation for Evangelism is an affiliate of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1949, by the late Dr. Harry Denman, who served as the General Secretary of the Board of Evangelism of the Methodist Church. The Foundation mission is to promote, encourage and provide resources for responsible evangelism, enabling the UMC to bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and help them grow as His disciples.