Asbury Resident Wins National Award for Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative

Rev. Hal GarmanWe are thrilled to announce that resident Rev. Hal Garman has won the LeadingAge 2014 Hobart Jackson Cultural Diversity Award. Hal received the award on behalf of the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative, an outreach group he founded to foster relationships and provide learning opportunities for at-risk children living in the communities surrounding Asbury Methodist Village. LeadingAge is the national association for non-profit aging services providers.

To read about some of GBCI’s activities, please click on these links.

Since creating the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative in 2011, Hal has built a coalition that includes dozens of Asbury residents and associates, Wesley Theological Seminary, Gaithersburg City, Montgomery County schools, and Identity, a Gaithersburg organization focusing on Latino youth.

The Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative’s (GBCI) origins stem from a Martin Luther King Day service Hal attended. It is named after King’s vision of social justice and equality. Hal, 78, has championed causes addressing social inequality since before he began his career as a minister in Syracuse, N.Y. His doctoral dissertation was a call to action for Boston-area ministers to engage in the Civil Rights movement.

GBCI’s primary activity is a mentoring program with students from Gaithersburg Elementary School. Students meet at Asbury every two weeks and particularly enjoy eating in the community’s formal dining room, says Hal, adding with a laugh, “They always order the hamburger.”

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