The recipient of the 2013 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award was just announced. Receiving the prestigious award on Tuesday, September 24, at the Hilton Anatole will be Highland Park United Methodist Church’s Rev. Mark Craig.
While the September fundraiser for the Methodist Health System is still a summer away, April is going to be a busy one for Mark, who will be retiring this month from his duties at HPUMC. Despite giving his final sermon as HPUMC pastor on April 21, he will “give the prayer for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Thursday, April 25.”
Talk about six degrees of separation. In addition to HPUMC being Laura and George Bush’s “home church,” Laura received the Folsom Award in in 2008.
If you need a refresher course on all of Mark’s accomplishments, check out this info provided by Methodist Health System:
“Community advocate Mark Craig is retired Senior Minister of Highland Park United Methodist Church, one of the largest and most mission-oriented churches in the nation. He is a passionate leader, an engaging speaker, and an innovative problem solver. Craig’s ministry career spans over 40 years including establishing Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano in 1980 and serving there as Senior Pastor for 15 years before being appointed Senior Minister at Highland Park in 1995.
“Through the years, Craig has received personal invitations from former President George W. Bush to preach at the gubernatorial inauguration in 1999, the private family service prior to Bush’s first presidential inauguration as well as the sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. before his second presidential inauguration. He served on the St. Mark’s Board of Trustees and is a long-standing member of the Board of Trustees at Southern Methodist University.
“A long time friend and colleague, SMU President Dr. R. Gerald Turner reflected on Craig’s time at HPUMC, ‘When we both arrived in the summer of 1995, we mutually committed to strengthening the role of Highland Park United Methodist Church as the ‘campus church.’ Through his close work and relationship with the Perkins School of Theology, his making the facilities of the church available to University departments, and his efforts to make church services address the needs and interests of students, faculty, and staff, the church has grown both in number and in importance to the University community.’
“Under the leadership of Mark Craig, the 15,000 congregants of Highland Park United Methodist Church brought his vision to life over the past 18 years most notably in the area of selfless service to the local Dallas community. In 2005, HPUMC was the first institution in Dallas to make a sizable financial commitment to the City of Dallas, ultimately raising over $4 million toward the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Craig also played an integral part in driving the largest home building commitment in the history of Habitat for Humanity including 300 domestic and international home constructions. Rev. Craig played a significant role in the fundraising effort that led to the $4.5 million renovation of historic St. Paul United Methodist Church in the Arts District. HPUMC’s recent renovation of Munger Place Church has resulted in a vibrant new worship community, a key part of the broader East Dallas revitalization effort. In addition, Rev. Craig has offered leadership in creation of an orphanage in Costa Rica and an expansive special needs program at HPUMC.
“Mark Craig graduated with a Masters of Divinity from the Duke University Divinity School. He and his wife, Dr. Sandra Craig, reside in Dallas and have two grown sons and a daughter whom they adopted in China.”
Proceeds from the 2013 Folsom event will benefit the Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
Photo provided by Methodist Health System Folsom Leadership Award