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LPTS recognizes three alums with the 2005 Distinguished Alum Award

Jun 28, 2005
Since 1986, Louisville Seminary has sought to recognize its graduates for their vision, accomplishments, and leadership within their respective callings and for their overall service to the Church. LPTS alums, in particular, are well prepared for a calling of service and ministry in the world. In celebrating their achievements, we hope to offer inspiration to the many students and alums who will follow.

At the 2005 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion, three individuals were recognized with the Distinguished Alum Award.

The Rev. Mary Gene Boteler (MDiv ’78) is one of the pioneering women who helped to open the doors for women in ministry in the 1970s. A graduate of the University of Mississippi (BAEd), she was encouraged to explore how her gifts could be used in ministry and enrolled in the Christian education degree program. But an inner restlessness would not be comforted until she felt empowered to consider a call to pastoral ministry. “It was that restlessness that only finds its rest in following God’s call,” she said.

She graduated from Louisville Seminary in 1978, the recipient of the John W. Meister Award in Pastoral Ministry. Remaining deeply connected to the Seminary, Boteler served as president of the Alum Association Board of Directors (1991-92) and ten years as a field education supervisor. Then, in 1998, she was co-chair of the capital campaign for the renovation of the Winn Center and helped to lead the Alum Association in raising $750,000 towards the $1.8 million cost.

Boteler has served pastorates in Kansas, Alabama, and Ohio. For the past 14 years she has been the pastor of Brighton Presbyterian Church in Zanesville, Ohio. Under her leadership the Brighton Neighborhood Outreach (BNO) was formed to provide ministry to at-risk children and families in the neighborhood. For many years, Boteler has served in leadership positions for the church and is currently serving in her second term as moderator of the Muskingum Valley Presbytery.

Dr. Milton P. Brown (BD ’54) has spent most of his career in the college classroom, in what he describes as a “ministry of teaching.” A Patterson Scholar, Brown was recognized for his abilities in Greek and enrolled at Louisville Seminary in 1951. He earned the Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1954 and at graduation received the Andrew Patterson Fellowship in Biblical Theology.

Following graduation, Brown taught at Duke Divinity School and completed a PhD in biblical languages and literature. Then in 1960, he began a 35-year career teaching at Rhodes College, serving as the Albert B. Curry Professor of Bible from 1968 until his retirement in 1995.

Reflecting on those years, Brown has enjoyed the “honorable calling” of teaching and has considered it a privilege to “give expression to my love of the classics as well as the Bible, and to learn from colleagues in both areas.”

Brown is the author of To Hear the Word: Invitation to Serious Study of the Bible (Mercer University, 1987) and Biblical Prophets, Seers, and the New Apocalypticism: Rightly Explaining the Word of Truth (Mellen Biblical Press, 1996). He has been a member of five presbyteries, serving on various committees and as a supply preacher in local congregations.

He served twice as a commissioner to the General Assembly, including an appointment in 1983 to the historic meeting to reunite the two branches of the Presby-terian church to become the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The Rev. Dr. Howard C. Walton Jr. (Th.M. ’49) knew at an early age that he would follow his father’s example and become a pastor. “I had been attending a season of revivals led by my father. At the close of one of the services, my father extended an invitation to the congregation, sensing that someone present was considering a call to ministry. I felt that invitation was for me and I walked forward to accept the call,” he said.

Walton earned the MDiv degree from Cumberland Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Recognizing the need for additional training and a theological perspective more like his own, he later enrolled in the ThM degree program at Louisville Seminary and graduated in 1949.

In a pastoral ministry that spanned more than 50 years, Walton served five churches in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Alabama.Throughout his ministry, he also served in Presbytery leadership, at two General Assemblies, and as an Executive Presbyter before his retirement in 1998.

He credits Louisville Seminary for orienting him to a pastoral mindset that helped him sustain a ministry of such longevity. “Professors like Dr. Hanna and Dr. Chamberlain taught us how to love preaching and love the people.” A genuine love for these two elements of ministry, he says, has kept him going.

Walton’s service has also reached into the community as he has supported the non-profit work of the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Washington County Mental Health Association, the Metropolitan and Regional Interfaith Associations, and the United Way.

In 2003, Walton and Mildred, his wife of more than 60 years, moved to Westminster Village, a retirement community in Spanish Fort, Ala. And he is still preaching every Sunday at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Chickasaw, Ala.
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