Please enjoy a replay of the 2022 Tom Locke Innovative Leader Award celebration.
Meet the 2022 recipients
- DAVID M. BAILEY
- KIT EVANS-FORD
- COTÉ SOERENS
- SHANNON HOPKINS
DAVID M. BAILEY
Founder & Chief Vision Officer, Arrabon – Richmond, VA
Bailey is a public theologian and culture-maker focused on building reconciling communities. He founded nonprofit Arrabon in 2008 with the goal to cultivate Christian communities to pursue healing and reconciliation in a racially divided world through spiritual formation and cultural training. His organization works with churches to better understand the cultures in their own cities and neighborhoods and collaborates with them to create a church experience that reflects the economic and ethnic diversity of the community the church serves.
Founder, Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope – Davenport, IA
Evans-Ford is the founder of Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope, a bath and body social enterprise that employs female survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence. She is a trainer and activist working in the areas of nonviolence education and healing from abuse. She holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Theology at St. Ambrose University. Dr. Kit is the author of 101 Testimonies of Hope: Life Stories to Encourage Your Faith In God and A Children’s Book on Bishop Richard Allen: A Nonviolent Journey.
Co-Owner, Resistencia Coffee – Seattle, WA
Soerens is a visionary convener, concentrated on identifying and connecting local gifts for the betterment of the community-at-large. She co-founded Resistencia Coffee, a neighborhood coffee shop that serves as a community hub, encouraging fellowship and innovation to create a more equitable neighborhood. Alongside a core team of residents, Soerens strives to realize God’s dreams for the neighborhood through love and joy as they create innovative solutions in food, environmental, housing, and economic justice.
Co-Founder & Lead Cultivator, RootedGood – London, United Kingdom
Shannon Hopkins is a networker and social entrepreneur whose passion for community and individual transformation has launched or influenced the formation of fifteen campaigns, projects, and organizations — and trained over 200 social entrepreneurs. She co-founded RootedGood so that organizations could align their ecclesiastical imagination or faith-based innovation with an economic model that would allow for sustainability and resilience. The result is empowering faith-based organizations to reclaim their relevance and be the church the world needs today.
Named after Wesleyan Investive President Tom Locke who holds a strong belief that investment in bold, enterprising leaders with inventive approaches to ministry not only advances the church but creates communities of genuine human flourishing. And by doing so, changes the world. Our aim is to honor spiritual entrepreneurs who have envisioned a broader mission field and have taken risks to make their God-sized dreams a reality.
In addition to the recognition, The Tom Locke Innovative Leader Award includes an invitation to participate in a cohort with fellow 2022 award recipients, so that they may continue to learn from each other and grow together and a cash award to honor their innovation and dedication.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
The selection committee considered five foundational criteria in the process, looking for leaders who:
1 Have proven themselves in the innovation space and demonstrated evidence indicating great potential for the future
2 Positively impact the Wesleyan ecosystem
3 Live out of a deep spiritual faith and work at the intersection of faith and individual and communal transformation
4 Invest in people, populations, and communities not currently effectively reached or well-resourced, especially by the church
5 Are committed to life-long learning with a willingness to experiment, fail, reflect, learn and try again
ABOUT TOM LOCKE
Tom’s visionary leadership has resulted in significant growth and service to the United Methodist community. As president of the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF) since 1993, he not only has managed phenomenal growth in assets but, more importantly, has created a culture that continually asks how those resources can be used most effectively to help the church stand to the full height of the gospel in a dramatically changing, emerging landscape. “What would it be like if …” is an oft-repeated Tom Locke phrase that has led to a reputation for unparalleled financial services and a Leadership Ministry nationally recognized for accelerating courageous leadership. At the helm of Wesleyan Investive, Locke has established a clarity of purpose and strong financial performance while continuing a history of providing loans to churches where funding is not easily accessible such as small, rural, ethnically diverse, and new churches. In addition, he has leveraged TMF’s purpose and leadership work to embolden innovation and entrepreneurial ministry on a national level.
“We are thrilled to honor these remarkable individuals who show us a new imagination for what the church can do for the sake of the world. It is Tom’s vision that inspired us to create this award in his honor. He saw a critical need for courageous, creative leadership in the church and responded with a spirit of entrepreneurship and financial resources to help identify and embolden those making a difference in our communities.”
Wesleyan Investive Board Chair
Wesleyan Investive is a national nonprofit that invests in congregations, leaders, and missionally driven innovation while catalyzing good works within communities.
Over the course of its 50-year history, Wesleyan Investive has made over 2,000 loans totaling more than $500 million, encouraging churches across the United States to pursue their God-sized dreams.
The work is made possible through partnerships with impact-focused investors and Methodist foundations across the country. Based in Austin, Texas, the organization is led by President Tom Locke.