TCCTC Celebrates Christian Professionals:
“Today’s world tells us we need to divorce our faith from our work, and that is just not true. This award has been established in order to recognize those professionals and community leaders who live out their Christian faith in the workplace, truly demonstrating that everything that we do, as people of faith, is ministry.”– TCCTC Board Chair Gary Griffin
Justice Major Harding is the 2017 recipient of the Faith and Profession Award, which was presented at TCCTC’s 26th Anniversary Dinner on February 23.
Over 200 people came to the TCCTC 26th Anniversary and Awards dinner, filling the FSU Alumni Center to capacity.
Gary Griffin, Chair of TCCTC’s Board of Directors gave the welcome and invocation.
Emily Moore, TCCTC Board Member and Attorney, Florida Education Association, spoke about the 26-year history of TCCTC.
Jon Jackson, President, Cornerstone Business Holdings gave the keynote address. The concept of the integration of Faith in the Professions is a core value at Bettenbough Homes, the construction company that is part of Cornerstone.
Jo Anne, Arnett, President and Co-Founder of Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center, described the impact the school has had, locally and world-wide, during its 26 years.
Justice Major B. Harding, who served on the Florida Supreme Court, received the 2017 Faith and Profession Award from Florida Rep. Loranne Ausley and TCCTC President, Jo Anne Arnett.
Accepting the award, Justice Harding credited being raised in a “God-centered home,” church youth groups, summer camps, and college fellowships for helping to build his faith. He honors his wife Jane, who has studied and taught the Bible all her life, as his “resident theologian.”
Harding says, “I have also been blessed to have been a member of churches that have taught, nurtured, and encouraged my life of faith. Also, I could not go without mentioning that throughout my career in the law I have been blessed to work with wonderful colleagues who also have been encouraging and supportive of my faith in Christ. All of this to say, this is an award that should be shared by many wonderful people who have helped shape and encourage my journey of faith.”
Robert N. Clarke, Jr., spoke eloquently about Justice Harding, who is Clarke’s colleague at the Ausley McMullen law firm.
In his introduction of Judge Harding, Robert N. Clarke, Jr., a colleague at Ausley McMullen law firm, noted Harding’s impressive credentials and career capstone: he was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 1991, and served as the Chief Justice from 1998 until his retirement in 2002.
Rob Clarke also spoke of Harding’s faith and heart for others:
“What is truly amazing about Major is not only what he does but how he does it. Major lives his faith each day with grace and humility. He has the true heart of a servant leader.
One our young associates told me ‘he puts others above himself. Early on he told me to call him “Major,” not “Judge.” He told me that I work with him, not for him. I think he cares about me.’
One of our secretaries said, ‘I appreciate it so much when he leads us in prayer before firm lunches and dinners. He makes the firm feel like a close family.’
Another lawyer said ‘he mentors me and helps many lawyers with ethical and moral issues that we are struggling with in our cases and at home.’
I think it is important to mention that Major has, for years, demonstrated his faith in a profession not always known for civility. Facing difficult decisions in an adversarial environment often dealing with very strong personalities and emotions, and as a judge, life and death decisions, he has still continued to demonstrate strength AND compassion for others. Many of you may remember Major from his involvement in George Bush vs. Al Gore and the FSU Disciplinary Hearing for Jameis Winston. I mention these two cases because even though they are very different, you may recall that Major, in the eye of the storm and in the midst of intense controversy and scrutiny continued to display grace and humility as he made important decisions. As one law partner told me, ‘Many of us strive to be a gentleman and a good Christian, but under pressure we fall short. Major does not waver. He gives me hope that I can do better!’
Major’s church home is St. Peter’s Anglican Church. Major has taught Bible studies over the years and has led a men’s Bible study for 18 years, and he is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church of North America.”
Fred Thomson, TCCTC Board Member, who operates Thomson Consulting, which provides estate planning, personal financial planning and consulting services, presented the opportunity for attendees to invest in the educational mission of TCCTC.
Ivey Williams, TCCTC Board Member and Pastor gave the closing benediction.
Click here to see details about the 2016 award
and its recipient, J. Everitt Drew.
Faith and Profession Initiative: Get Involved
TCCTC is establishing a “think tank” of local leaders in law, medicine, finance, business and other fields to identify Biblical educational needs and recommend service delivery. These “Faith and Profession Fellows” will identify future award candidates who emerge during the process.
To become involved in educating and encouraging Tallahassee Christian professionals, and to advise on the 2017 Faith and Profession Award, contact Anne Munson, TCCTC Assistant to the President.