Louisville Seminary presents four Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards for 2003
Since 1986, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has recognized 63 members of the Alumni/ae Association for their vision, accomplishments, and leadership. During the 2003 Alumni/ae Reunion four individuals were added to this roster and were awarded the Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards. Collectively, the 2003 recipients represent various ministries in education administration, pastoral leadership, and missions.
Photographed, left to right:
The Rev. Dr. Homer T. Rickabaugh grew up in Pennsylvania, the son of a Presbyterian pastor. After attending Maryville College in Tennessee where he was involved in the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Mission, he enrolled at Louisville Seminary. He received the Fielding Lewis Walker Fellowship in Doctrinal Theology when he graduated from the Seminary in 1957 (B.D.) and then left for the mission field in Korea.
As a missionary of the Presbyterian Church U.S. from 1957 to 1980, he was assigned to work with the Presbyterian Church of Korea in the areas of theological education, campus ministry and church and mission administration. A few years into this work, he completed a Master of Theology (1962) at Union-PSCE, and after returning from his Korean assignment, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1981 from San Francisco Seminary.
During the 1980s, Rickabaugh served as pastor of two churches in North Carolina and was the Moderator of the Concord Presbytery (PCUS) for one term. Most Presbyterians, however, have encountered him through his work with the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA). From 1988 until his retirement in 2001, Rickabaugh was the Associate for Presbytery and Synod International Partnerships in what is now called the Worldwide Ministries Division. In that role he visited many presbyteries, synods, and overseas partner churches coordinating the development of presbytery and synod international mission partnerships. When he began this work in 1988, there were about twenty-five partnerships of this type. By the time of his retirement, there were more than 100 mission international partnerships in more than 30 countries, each one joined in mutual mission and ministry activities. Now honorably retired, Dr. Rickabaugh serves as a parish associate at the Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church in Kentucky and as a member of the Mission Unit of the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky.
The Rev. Dr. Paul Y. Harlan is a native of Mississippi. After earning degrees from Davidson College (B.S., 1936) and New York University (M.B.A., 1940), Harlan served as a naval lieutenant during World War II. He later worked for Gulf Oil until, at the age of 49, he attended and then graduated from Louisville Seminary.
Harlan served Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church in Louisville before moving to the First Presbyterian Church in Kennett, Mo., where for 13 years he ministered to migrant workers and others in need through an ecumenical endeavor with Methodists, Catholics and Episcopalians. While in Missouri, he also founded the first mental health facility in the “bootheel” area of state. During the 1970s, the Bootheel Mental Unit expanded into several counties beyond Kennett.
The Doctor of Ministry degree brought him back to Louisville Seminary. At the age of 74, Harlan received his doctorate, having explored in his D.Min. project the value of interim ministry and the impact of retirement years in ministry.
In his own retirement, Harlan served as interim pastor to five churches in Memphis, Tenn., including the congregations of Highland Heights Presbyterian and Shady Grove Presbyterian. In 1978 he was called for only a six-month term as Parish Associate to the Idlewilde Presbyterian Church. But for the next ten years the congregation insisted that he continue his pastoral work among them.
Pictured with three distinguished alumni is Mr. Alan Jones, the son of Rev. Dr. Paul Y. Harlan ('65; DMin '88), who could not be present to receive his award.
Dr. John B. Begley is the first Chancellor of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. He was named to this position following 20 years of service as the seventh president of the college from 1977 to 1997. At the close of his tenure, he was the longest-serving president of a four-year college in Kentucky.
Prior to coming to Lindsey Wilson College, Begley had served at Scarritt College in Nashville, Tenn., as Assistant to the President for Church Relations, as Vice President for Field Service and Church Relations, and as Vice President for Development and Public Relations.
At Lindsey Wilson College, Begley transformed a struggling junior college into one of the top four-year liberal arts colleges in Kentucky with a nationally ranked graduate program in counseling. The college’s budget grew from $600,000 in 1977 to $13.4 million for the 1996-97 fiscal year; enrollment broke the 1,000-student barrier in 1987 and, by 1996, it had increased to more than 1,300. Begley also led the school in developing an evening college. This college is designed to help non-traditional students earn a college education and break out of the cycle of poverty that has trapped many Appalachian families in the region.
As chancellor of the nearly 100-year-old institution, Begley provides crucial leadership currently for a major institutional advancement program that seeks to enhance the college’s continued long-term academic quality.
A native of Harrodsburg, Ky., Begley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Campbellsville College in 1963 and a Master of Divinity from Louisville Seminary in 1967. He completed graduate work in counseling at Murray State University. He is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management of Harvard’s School of Education. A member in the United Methodist Church, he has been honored with two doctorates: the Doctorate of Divinity (1978) from Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky., and a Doctorate of Laws (1998) awarded by the faculty of Lindsey Wilson College.
The Rev. Washio Ishii was born in Tokyo, Japan. As a young adult, he was a stockbroker and trader for the Yamani Security Company at the Tokyo Security Exchange. In 1953, at the age of 24, he left Japan for the United States and moved to Hawaii with his new bride.
In 1960, Ishii earned a degree in psychology from Centre College in Danville, Ky. He then attended Louisville Seminary and received the Master of Divinity degree in 1963. That same year, he was ordained, became a citizen of the United States, and accepted his first call as pastor-director of the Madison Larger Parish in Alabama, which consisted of three yoked Presbyterian churches of the former United Presbyterian Church of the USA: New Market (1963-1977); Madison Cross Roads (1963-1985); and Big Cove (1963-1989). Ishii resigned from the pastorate of the New Market church in 1977 after helping that congregation build a new sanctuary and Christian education building as well as their mortgages. He resigned from the pastorate of the Madison Cross Roads church in 1985 having in similar fashion overseen the construction of a Christian education facility and settled its mortgage. He then retired in 1989 after 26 years of ministry in the Big Cove church.
Across his pastoral career, Ishii has served three governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church at the General Assembly, Synod, and Presbytery levels. He has been a commissioner at three assemblies; council and committee member for the UPCUSA Synod of the Mid-South and the PC(USA) Synod of Living Waters; served as moderator for two different presbyteries as well as chaired and participated as a member of numerous presbytery committees.
Visit the alumni/ae webpages for a complete list of Distinguished Alumni/ae since 1986.