ARDEN, NC | Over 100 friends from across the southeastern U.S. gathered in Lineberger Hall at Lutheridge, on Friday, November 3, 2017, to thank Keith and Lori Johnson for his 24 years of service as Executive Director of Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries and NovusWay Ministries. He is retiring on December 31, 2017. The event was organized by the Board of Trustees and included former and current board members, donors, executive staff and other friends of the ministry.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Aull, Bishop Emeritus of the South Carolina Synod, who served on the Search Committee when Johnson was called in 1993, spoke on behalf of trustees from the early years. John Didicher, Marietta, GA spoke on behalf of board members, and Libby Bedenbaugh, Newberry, SC represented the staff. Bishop Tim Smith spoke for the Bishops who serve as Trustees, and Johnson’s two sons, Ramon and Kaj, also shared their reflections. The emcees for the evening were Bishop H. Julian Gordy, Southeastern Synod and Rev. John Weber, Peachtree City, GA. Lutheridge Program Co-Directors, Pastor Tim Canniff-Kuhn and Pastor Mary Canniff-Kuhn, led music and shared a favorite story.
Board president, Larry Moeller, Knoxville, TN, announced that over $100,000 had been committed by board, staff and donors to create the “Keith and Lori Johnson Youth Outreach Endowment Fund.” It pushed NovusWay’s scholarship endowments to over $1 million to ensure that all are welcomed at NovusWay sites and programs regardless of their ability to pay. In accepting the gift Keith said, “one of my proudest accomplishments over the years has been to create a culture where all are welcomed regardless of the ability to pay with special attention to cross-cultural campers, and we’re honored that an endowment in our name will help to accomplish that objective.”
The Johnson’s also received a special glass sculpture by renowned artist Hans Godo Frabel entitled “Flame of Excellence” to commemorate the light and passion Keith has infused into NovusWay for the past 24 years.
Johnson had this to say about the evening and his service with NovusWay, “My life has been enriched beyond measure through service with thousands of friends across the southeast. I have been privileged to serve with superb staff partners and extremely capable and committed board and committee members, volunteers and donors. ..Lori and I are convinced that the best days for NovusWay lie ahead and we encourage you to join us with your continued commitment and support to the ministry.”
Larry Moeller, president of the Board of Trustees, indicated that an announcement would be forthcoming on the next NovusWay Executive Director. If you would like information on how you can make a gift to the endowment, contact Keith Trout at ktrout@NovusWay.com or call 864-313-1453.