Mrs. Ann Kennison Van Valin - 1996 A Award Recipient
Bio from 1996:
Ann Kennison Van Valin was born in Bedford, Indiana. When she was five years old, she moved with her parents to Wilmore, Kentucky. All of her schooling was completed in Wilmore. She graduated from Asbury College with a degree in Sociology in 1966. Her Master of Religious Education degree was earned from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1968.
She married John Van Valin in 1968. The following year they began their ministry in Bedford, Indiana, where John was the youth pastor, followed by a senior pastorate in Danville, Illinois. In 1975, they moved to Indianapolis to serve the John Wesley Church. Ann worked in various areas of Christian Education in these churches. Her goal was to always be training somone to take her position. She has conducted teacher training classes and Christian Education workshops in several states.
While John was pastoring the John Wesley congregation, Ann opened Light and Life Bookshop on the west side of Indianapolis for Light and Life Press. Within three years, it was on the top 5% of Christian bookstores in the nation. In the nineteen years of its existance, it has become one of the leading Christian bookstores in the nation.
In 1983, John was elected Superintendent of the Great Plains Conference. At that time they moved to McPherson, Kansas. During this period, Ann sought to minister ot the pastor's wives in the Converence by writing Bible studies for them and entertaining them as often as possible in her home. Ann was the Women's Retreat Chairman in both Wabash Conference and Great Plains Conference. The Lord has been using Ann's messages during the past twelve years at numerous Women's Retreats and Christian Women's Clubs.
Ann has always had an interest in missions and has travelled to 25 countries of our mission fields. Ann's concern in missions is currently being made visible by her Directorship of the International Child Care Sponsorship Ministry, where she began working on April 2, 1990 in Indianapolis, Indiana. International Childcare Ministries is a child sponsorhip program of the Free Methodist Church and is in 23 countries, daily minsitering to over 30,000 children.