Morristown’s Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams To Receive Locke Innovative Leader Award
Morristown’s very own Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, President and CEO of Crossing Capital Group and Pastor of Bethel AME Church, has been selected to receive a 2023 Locke Innovative Leader Award for his work with congregations, nonprofits, and underfinanced communities.
Through his FISHing Differently framework, Williams helps congregations and nonprofits re-imagine physical assets and engage with potential impact investors to build or improve buildings and fund ministry programs, accelerate growth and development in underfinanced communities, and address structural inequities. Williams has distinguished himself as a remarkable visionary who has made a powerful impact in the Faith and Business communities.
Wesleyan Impact Partners, a national nonprofit fueled by impact investors, borrowers, and philanthropists investing in ministries and innovative leaders, announced its 2023 Locke Innovative Leader Award recipients on March 8. These four spiritual entrepreneurs exemplify the award’s aim to “honor innovative leaders who have taken risks to bring about a better world where more people know God’s love.”
Each Locke Innovative Leader Award recipient receives a $50,000 cash stipend and an invitation to participate in a facilitated cohort to nurture their spirit and ideas over the coming years. To date, Wesleyan Impact Partners has invested more than $700,000 in Locke Innovative Leaders.
“These courageous leaders have made incredible sacrifices to bring God’s dreams to fruition and some of those sacrifices are financial. This no-strings-attached award is a gift that we hope communicates our enthusiasm and gratitude for their innovative leadership and positive impact in their communities,” said Maggie Jackson, Wesleyan Impact Partners board chair. “By spotlighting these extraordinary individuals, we hope to learn from them and their stories. The questions they are asking and their approaches to ministry are inspiring and Spirit-led, which helps the church imagine ministry in new ways.”
This year’s recipients are creating communities where houseless persons are housed and holistically cared for, where Black single mothers receive financial support and training to launch small businesses, where marginalized voices and eco-justice are raised up in a congregation, and where impact investors work with church leaders to invest in underfinanced communities and address structural inequalities.
The 2023 Locke Innovative Leaders are:
- Rev. Michael Gienger, Pastor, Galveston Central Church. Galveston, Texas.
Known for his tenacious solidarity with the poor, Gienger has led Galveston Central Church to become a truly missional community focused on partnering with organizations to meet the needs of homeless neighbors. He has implemented a new approach to addressing homelessness in the city by securing a dormitory to begin a housing-first program.
- Rev. Alisha Gordon, Founder and Executive Director, The Current Project. New York City, New York.
Through the Current Project, Gordon is helping Black single mothers get small businesses off the ground by providing them with financial support and training so that they may ultimately “create space for economic stability and social liberation.”
- Rev. Tyler Sit, Pastor, New City Church, and Co-Founder Intersect Planting Network. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sit planted New City Church to be a reflection of the vision from Revelation of a new city where all tribes are welcomed, there is no more violence, and the earth is renewed. The now seven-year-old congregation led by BIPOC leaders is focused on centering marginalized voices, community organizing, and eco-justice.
- Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, President & CEO, Crossing Capital Group and Pastor, Bethel AME Church. Morristown, New Jersey.
Through his FISHing Differently framework, Williams helps congregations and nonprofits re-imagine physical assets and engage with potential impact investors to build or improve buildings and fund ministry programs, accelerate growth and development in underfinanced communities, and address structural inequities.
Each honoree will be celebrated in a live-streamed event on Sunday, April 30 at 8 pm. To attend the live-stream event, visit www.wesleyanimpactpartners.org. To learn about prior Locke Innovative Leader Award recipients, visit www.wesleyanimpactpartners.org/locke-leaders.
About Wesleyan Impact Partners
“…” Wesleyan Impart Partners is a national nonprofit fueled by impact investors, borrowers, and philanthropists that invests in ministries and innovative leaders courageously doing God’s work in the world – partnering in a Spirit-led movement to bring about human flourishing grounded in love, generosity, and belonging. Over the course of its 50-plus-year history, Wesleyan Impact Partners has made thousands of loans totaling more than half a billion dollars, empowering churches across the United States to pursue their God-sized dreams. The work is made possible through partnerships with impact-focused investors, donors, and Methodist foundations across the country. Based in Austin, Texas, the organization is led by President Lisa Greenwood, who is also the President of the Texas Methodist Foundation.