Join Us at The Loveless Barn
8400 TN-100 | Nashville, Tennessee
Monday, October 25, 2021
What did it look like for the first disciple, Andrew, to answer the Call of Jesus Christ?
What does it look like for us today?
The Call of Jesus to "follow me" first given to Andrew, still extends to us today as we carry that Call into every corner of Church, culture, society, and vocation.
God has called all of us. This calling provides the throughline for our lives, transforming how we engage the world. Join Operation Andrew Group on October 25th at CALLED, as we come together to explore the possibilities of obedience, and present the Joe and Honey Rodgers Christian Civic Leadership Awards to three individuals that have obeyed that Call in their own lives.
Can't join us?
What To Expect
No matter how you may choose to join us, we know that CALLED will be
an evening to remember
The Joe + Honey Rodgers Christian Civic Leadership Award recognizes Christian leaders who demonstrate excellence and humility as they strengthen others. In the 13th annual celebration of Joe and Honey's community contributions, our 2021 honorees couldn't exemplify these standards more perfectly.
The late U.S. Ambassador Joe M. and Helen "Honey" Rodgers are prime examples of Kingdom-minded influence. Joe and Honey pointed others to Christ as they led with integrity around the world, nation, and our local community.
As one of the founders and early chair of The Operation Andrew Group, Joe opened the door for us to mobilize Nashville's faith community to serve our city collaboratively. Through a deep love of the Lord and desire to see Nashville flourish, Joe and Honey encouraged others to come together regardless of denomination, ethnic background, and economic status to transform our future.
We honor them by celebrating today's leaders that exhibit the same spirit of Christ-honoring leadership that Joe modeled and Honey continues to display.
Miles Ezell Jr, Marty Dickens, Lee Beaman, Sam Bartholomew, Beth Harwell, Lee Barfield, Stuart McWhorter, Howard Gentry, Amy Grant, Don Finto, Bill Carpenter, Dee Anna Smith, L.H. Hardwick, Dr. Richard Allen, SandyBledsoe, Dr. Charles McGowan, Jacki Patillo, Michael W. Smith, Charles Strobel, Harold Brewer, CeCe Winans, and Hal Hadden.
Elizabeth and Don O'Neal
Jane and Steve Richards
Denise and Steve Smith
Stephens Family Christian Trust
Linda and Jim Allen
Portin and Gary Baker
Robbie and Hank Davis
Carole and John Ferguson
Crissy and the Honorable Bill Haslam
Vicki and Rick Holton
Cindy and Stan Knott
Rhonda and Dr. Randy Lowry
Haden and Jimmy Pickel
Ann and Turney Stevens
Thank you for wanting to partner with OAGroup financially to sponsor Called, featuring the Joe + Honey Rodgers Awards. We have several sponsorship levels with varying amenities that can be viewed below.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Joe + Honey Rodgers
Christian Civic Leadership Award
Mike Arrington is a founding member of the Operation Andrew Group Board of Directors and from 2009 to 2015 served as its President. In his role as President, he was responsible for the successful leadership and overall management of Operation Andrew Group.
Mike previously had a 15-year career with LifeWay Christian Resources, retiring February 1, 2007. Following retirement, he served two years as a consultant to LifeWay’s A Defining Moment major-donor campaign while continuing to serve on Operation Andrew Group’s board of directors.
As Lifeway’s Vice President of the Corporate Affairs Division, Mike oversaw the corporate communications program and the public relations strategies and plans; the programs and services of LifeWay’s national conference centers at Ridgecrest, NC. and Glorieta, NM.; and the corporate capital resource development activities. Mike also provided support to LifeWay’s president in his role representing LifeWay to various audiences, including Southern Baptist Convention agencies, seminaries and state convention offices. He also was a member of the executive management group.
Since relocating to Nashville in 1991, he has been active in local civic affairs, including serving as Chairman of the Board for the Nashville/Middle Tennessee Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also served as a member of the Nashville Rotary Club and as chairman of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast Citizens Committee.
Prior to his tenure with LifeWay, Arrington was an executive with Texas Utilities Electric Company (TXU), where he served for 23 years and was active in the Dallas/Fort Worth community, serving as President of the Downtown Fort Worth Rotary Club, Chairman of the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and on several other boards.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and completed additional study through the American Management Association, The University of Houston executive development program and the Levinson Institute in Boston.
Mike and his wife, Paula, reside, both in Tyler, Texas and in Smithville, Tennessee. They have two grown children and seven grandchildren. Mike and Paula attend Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler during winter months and First Baptist Church Smithville during the summer months.
Dr. James Hildreth
Joe + Honey Rodgers
Christian Civic Leadership Award
James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D. is the 12th president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center. Dr. Hildreth obtained a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard University and was selected as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas. He obtained a Ph.D. in immunology from Oxford University where his studies focused on the biology of virus-specific cytotoxic T cells. Dr. Hildreth obtained an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and took a leave of absence from medical school for a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology at Johns Hopkins.
In 1987, Dr. Hildreth joined the Johns Hopkins School of faculty as assistant professor. He was appointed as the first associate dean for graduate studies at Johns Hopkins in 1994. In 2002, Dr. Hildreth became the first African American in the 125-year history of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to earn full professorship with tenure in basic sciences. In July 2005, Dr. Hildreth became director of the NIH-funded Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical College. In August of 2011, Dr. Hildreth became dean of the College of Biological Sciences at University of California, Davis. He was the first African-American dean in the university, which was founded in 1905. He was also appointed as a tenured professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology as well as professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the UC Davis School of Medicine.
Dr. Hildreth’s research in immunology and virology, with a focus on HIV, has resulted in more than 120 publications in top journals and 11 patents. He has received numerous NIH grants to support his research including a prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. A technology developed by Dr. Hildreth was licensed by Genentech as the basis for the FDA-approved drug Raptiva.
Dr. Hildreth received numerous awards for his research, commitment to diversity in medicine, biomedical research and service to communities. His recognitions include honorary degrees, induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars and election to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), part of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Hildreth has led Meharry’s effort to support the city of Nashville’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He serves on the city’s COVID-19 taskforce and Meharry manages all of the city’s COVID-19 test centers, performing as many as 18,000 tests per week. Meharry is also doing mobile COVID-19 mobile testing at local churches. Dr. Hildreth led the effort to establish Meharry as a COVID-19 vaccine test site as part of Operation Warp Speed. Dr. Hildreth has emerged as a trusted leader in the fight against COVID- 19 and has appeared numerous times in local and national print and broadcast media. As a trusted messenger, he is leading efforts to ensure that minorities enroll in COVID-19 vaccine trials and that they accept vaccines when they are approved and available. Dr. Hildreth has been appointed to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Products Advisory Committee that will review COVID-19 vaccine trial data and make recommendations for approval to the FDA commissioner. President Biden appointed Dr. Hildreth to the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
Dr. Hildreth has served on numerous national advisory boards including the Harvard University Board of Overseers. He currently serves on the Advisory Council to the NIH Director, the Veteran’s Administration National Academic Affiliations Council and the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers. Dr. Hildreth serves on several other boards including chair of the board of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Dr. Hildreth has been married to his wife Phyllis Drennon King for 36 years. They have two children: Sophia, a captain and attorney in the U.S. Army and James who is continuing studies at the University of Oregon, Eugene.
Joe + Honey Rodgers
Christian Civic Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award
Neika Stephens loves the Lord and loves people.
A retired television programming executive, Neika laughingly says she worked on marketing campaigns for everything from Black Draught Laxative to Martha White Flour. She also was involved in the production and sales of syndicated country music television shows such as The Porter Wagoner Show, the Marty Robbins Show, and many others that dominated Saturday afternoons in the 70s and 80s.
The daughter of Lipscomb professor Charles R. Brewer and Robbie Dearing Ward Brewer (her mother was the first student to complete her entire education at Lipscomb,) Neika developed a deep love for Christian education - especially for Lipscomb University and Lipscomb Academy. She faithfully continues to serve Lipscomb as a deeply-rooted friend, advocate, and Trustee.
A Nashville native, Neika has also served on multiple non-profit boards and is always available to offer advice, care, or a listening ear to our community's ministry leaders.
Neika says that through two very generous husbands, she learned the joy of giving. Charlie Williams, who passed in 1991, loved to show his love through giving to individuals. Bill Stephens, who married Neika in 1997, loved to give to Kingdom-focused organizations.
Knowing Neika is to know the epitome of grace, hospitality, service, and generosity.