AU School of Theology honored Rev. Adrienne Holmes with the 2008 Distinguished Alumna Award, James Cook with the 2008 Distinguished Ministries Award, and Dr. John Aukerman with the 2008 Distinguished Service Award.
The Rev. Adrienne Holmes was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of eight children. At the age of four, she could not read a book, however she could tell people where different Scriptures were found. At the age of six she gave her life to Christ and was baptized. In 1976 Pastor Adrienne felt a call to ministry.
In 1988 Pastor Adrienne and her five adopted children moved from Cleveland to Indianapolis where she became business manager of Park Tudor School. In 1997, with zeal to go to college, she entered Baptist Bible College and is the only woman to graduate from that college with a degree in pastoral studies. She continued her studies at Anderson University School of Theology, where she graduated in 2003 with her Master of Divinity Degree and received the Clarence and Goldie Ellis Preaching Award, The Chester L. Gerig Sr. Memorial Award, and Professional Distinction. Currently, she is enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program, and when she graduate as planned in 2010, she will be the first African American woman to graduate from this program.
In June of 2000, Pastor Adrienne began serving the Bell’s Chapel Church of God congregation with just six people. Today her congregation has grown to more than 175 with a day care of 150 children, a food pantry, soup kitchen, and clothing give-a-way. Her congregation diligently serves the community of northeast Indianapolis.
In 2007 Pastor Adrienne felt led to plant a church in the former Sunnyside Church of God building. Abounding Grace Church of God opened Easter Sunday of this year. Already this church has 50 people attending worship.
Pastor Adrienne has a heart for the Lord and for His people. She enjoys everything that she does in service to the Lord. Her motto is, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain.”
James Cook has been serving in the church since his graduation from Anderson University in 1968. In 1971, he graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. Over the years he has served as pastor at First Church of God in Corona, California; First Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan; and Meadow Park Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. He is currently an associate pastor at the Church of the Crossing in Indianapolis.
Jim has also served this institution for many years on its board of trustees. More specifically, however, he is a friend of the seminary. As a member of the board’s seminary subcommittee, Jim has taken this responsibility very seriously. The School of Theology has benefited significantly from Jim’s advocacy for the concerns of the seminary. He understands our mission, our strengths, and our challenges. He promotes the interests of the seminary within the wider context of the Anderson University community.
Over the years, Jim has served the church on the state level in the division of social concerns for the General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan and in the Department of Ministry Services for Indiana Ministries of the Church of God. He has served the community on the American Heart Association and boards of social services.
Jim and his wife, Carol, have been married for 37 years. She teaches kindergarten in Carmel Clay schools. They have two daughters, Sara and Alissa, both Anderson University graduates. Sara is doing peace and reconciliation work in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Alissa is working in food service in Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. John Aukerman has served the Anderson University School of Theology since 1984. Earning both his undergraduate and Master of Divinity degrees from Anderson University, John continued his education with a master’s degree in adult education from Marshall University and a Doctor of Education from Ball State University.
John is an all-purpose servant at the School of Theology. His loyalty to its ideals has been evident for many, many years. He has been a beloved teacher of Christian Education on the faculty of the School of Theology. In more recent years, he has assumed additional duties without complaint. The kinds of service he renders at the School of Theology are invaluable not only to the institution’s everyday activities but also to her ongoing accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools.
In addition to teaching, John is the director of Distance Education for the School of Theology, especially in the Master of Arts in Christian Ministries programs. He is a vocal advocate for the mission of the School of Theology and for its broader relationship to the mission of Anderson University. He is a committed Christian, who is a servant of his local church and its ministries, but also a servant of Jesus Christ in the wider expression of the Church. His ongoing work with Logos Ministries is a case in point. As expectations have increased on him, he continues in his own life and witness to marry head and heart, church and academy, as things valued by our seminary.
John attends and is active in the Maple Grove Church of God. He and his wife, Brenda, have two sons, Randy and David.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.