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Celebrating Dr. King's Legacy

Date: January 6, 2012

“Prophetic Imagination: Breaking Through To A New Vision” was the theme for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held January 12–17, 2012. The weeklong celebration included guest speakers, delivery of a sermon given by Dr. King the day before his death, and presentation of the 2012 MLK Legacy of Freedom Awards.
Walter Brueggemann, a world-renowned Old Testament scholar and author, offered the keynote addresses. He first spoke to Andrews at University Forum on Thursday, Jan. 12, in Pioneer Memorial Church. His presentation, ‘The Prophetic Imagination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” validated Dr. King’s universal contribution to the important role of prophets as peacemakers and advocates of justice.
Later that afternoon, Brueggemann addressed students in the Seminary Chapel with “The Revolutionary Practice of Sabbath.” As he started his presentation, he mused, “Not sure I, as a non-Adventist, am qualified to speak to seminarians at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary about the Sabbath. But I'm a white guy invited to speak about Martin Luther King at this morning’s assembly, so I guess we’ll proceed!”

Brueggemann compared the Sabbath to the rest from Pharaoh’s tyranny provided to the children of Israel by the Exodus. There was no rest from Pharoah's drive to make more bricks until they left Egypt. Brueggemann shared his insights on how ignoring the Sabbath acknowledges a philosophy that the world relies on “my” work, instead of God's provision.
On Sabbath, Jan. 14, during the New Life Fellowship worship service in the Seminary Chapel, a tradition of honoring Dr. King through sharing one of his sermons continued. Seminary student Richard Means delivered “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” It was the last speech Dr. King delivered, on April 3, 1968, just one day before his death.
On three separate occasions during the weeklong celebration, the 2012 Martin Luther King Legacy of Freedom Award was presented. The recipients were Elaine Chaudoir, Jim and Gloria Hippler, and Richard White. The Legacy of Freedom Award was instituted at Andrews in 2006 to recognize individuals or organizations who exemplify King’s values of civility and equality. 

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The 2012 Legacy of Freedom Award recipients (L-R) James and Gloria Hippler,
Elaine Chaudoir and Richard M. White. (Photo by IMC photographer Austin Ho)

Elaine Chaudoir
Elaine Chaudoir cares about her community and has dedicated her life to serving those around her. Her family came to Berrien Springs in 1935, and Elaine couldn’t quite find the heart to leave it. She graduated from Berrien Springs Public School in 1949 and in 1953 married Richard Charles Chaudoir.
Elaine began her volunteer work in 1958 as a charter member of the Civic League. At the club’s 50th anniversary Elaine was named Exemplary Woman and Citizen of Berrien Springs. The following year, she began volunteering at the Berrien Springs Public Schools. She served on the band boosters, as PTA president and worked school mileages. Elaine enjoyed the time with the teachers and students at the school.
Elaine became a volunteer charter member at Berrien General Hospital in 1964. Over the next 45 years, she volunteered more than 29,000 hours of her time and served as the gift shop chair for 20 years. In 1985, she served as president of Southwest District of Auxiliaries. Elaine also served on the Michigan Association of Healthcare Advocates for six years, the last as president in 1989.
In 1982, Elaine was awarded the Lion’s Club Citizen of the Year and in 1985 the Margaret B. Upton Volunteer Leadership Award.
From 1971 to 1980 Elaine served as a trustee on the 1839 Courthouse Museum, and from 1979 to 1999 Elaine served as a trustee on the Village Council. “I so enjoyed the council and people I worked with, they are special,” she said.
Being a member of the Berrien Springs United Methodist Church is very important to Elaine. She has served as the chair of the finance and trustee’s committees, has been a member of the choir, volunteered at the church’s store and was a member of the English bell choir from 1988 to 2005. Elaine said, “My life is given now to church; the friends I have there are dear to me.”

Richard M. White
Richard M. White, a CPA and student at the Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, has been helping families, churches and communities around him achieve financial stability for the past 16 years. His ministry combines principles of holistic stewardship with Christian leadership.
Born in Jamaica, White received an associate degree in accounting from the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1984, and Bachelor of Accounting from Baruch College in New York in 1988. He later obtained his CPA license, which he has held for 27 years. He is currently working on both his Master of Divinity and Master of Business Administration from Andrews University.
In 1995, he founded the Advent Financial Institute, Inc., and has since held a variety of seminars on holistic stewardship and financial management at churches and institutions across the country. He currently serves as the director of finance for Harbor Habitat for Humanity in Benton Harbor, Mich.
Within the past two years, White has held financial management seminars at New Life Fellowship, Harbor of Hope Church, Benton Harbor Street Ministry, and I’m Saving Myself, Inc., a community non-profit organization in Benton Harbor, as well as churches in Niles, Mich., Chicago, Ill., St. Paul, Minn., and Newark, N.J.
White has also served in several capacities of church leadership, including stewardship director, elder, Sabbath School teacher, and chair of the finance committee. Richard is married to Hope M. White, a registered nurse and nurse educator. They have four children, Krystel, Rolanzo, Royel and Raeanne.

James (Jim) and Gloria (Gay) Hippler
In 1990, James Hippler and his wife Gloria were asked to help on a mission project in Venezuela. That was the first of many short-term mission trips that the Hipplers have been involved in. By 1998, the family, including their two children Tonya and Jason, had volunteered on over 20 different mission projects throughout Eastern Europe, and Central and South America.
Jim was born the oldest of five children in Michigan, which gave him the opportunity to sharpen his leadership skills at a young age. Gloria spent part of her childhood as the daughter of missionaries at Malamulo Mission in Malawi, Africa. In 1971, Jim began a two-year service as a pharmacy tech in the U.S. Army. He and Gloria met while at Andrews University and they married in 1976.
In 1998, Jim returned to Andrews University to earn a degree in architecture while continuing to run his company, Exquisite Homes, Inc. In 2003, he graduated with a Master of Architecture at 52 years of age.
In 2003, Jim and Gloria began to widen their mission focus to include Asia. They traveled to Nepal, India and the Philippines working on churches and schools. Jim’s degree in architecture came in handy as he designed an airplane hanger with living quarters off each side for a mission station in Palauan, Philippines.
Jim’s most recent mission trip in January 2011 to Zimbabwe, Africa, building “One Day Churches” resulted in a traumatic accident within the first 15 minutes on the job. Some scaffolding gave way and Jim suffered a partial amputation and reconstructive surgery. He spent the better part of 2012 rehabilitating his left hand.
Jim and Gloria also enjoy helping their local community. Gloria has spent seven years working with the HOSTS mentoring program in the Benton Harbor school district. She was also the first female president of the Berrien Springs–Eau Claire Rotary Club. Both of them have served on various community and school boards. Jim has been involved with Habitat for Humanity in Benton Harbor as well as the construction of several churches throughout Berrien County.
Other 2012 MLK events, including a social justice symposium, rounded out the weeklong celebration. The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is planned each year by a committee of Andrews’ staff members under the auspices of the Office of the Provost. Events are designed to honor the life and legacy of King and challenge the community to engage in finding peaceful solutions to issues of civil rights, poverty and social injustice.

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