Dr. Ed Trimmer, executive director of the Cal Turner Jr. Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College (MMC), presented Rev. Joaquin Garcia the Francis Asbury Award at the college’s annual dinner held during the Annual Conference of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The Francis Asbury Award, presented by the Division of Higher Education at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), is given annually to recognize and encourage support of higher education and campus ministries within The United Methodist Church. The award offers recognition to individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the church’s ministries in higher education at all levels of the church.
After graduating from Scarritt in Nashville with a graduate degree in Christian Education, Garica returned to Mexico to serve as National Director of Christian Education in the Methodist Church of Mexico. Later he was named to be President of the Publishing House in Mexico and Latin America. In 1979, he came back to Nashville to serve with the GBHEM, ultimately “retiring” in 2003 as Assistant General Secretary of the Division of Deacons and Diaconal Ministry.
However, Garcia continued to teach at the Hispanic/Latino Course of Study for Local Pastor at Garrett Evangelical, and for three years following retirement, served as their Vice President of Student Affairs at Garrett.
In 2007, the TN Conference asked him to develop the Hispanic/Latino Academy for Christian Formation and Leadership Development. In that role, Garcia came back in touch with MMC, encouraging and “recruiting” Hispanic students to attend MMC, as well as helping to develop Hispanic fellowships or churches in the TN Conference. From that relationship, La Conexion was established as a student group on MMC’s campus and continues to thrive today. He has helped several students attend a 10-day experience in south central Mexico entitled AWARE. Additionally, Joaquin helped foster MMC’s relationship with MADERO, a United Methodist College in Puebla, Mexico, where he has served as a visiting professor.
Congratulations Rev. Garcia!