Diane LeMasters Knippers - 1997 A Award Recipient
Bio from 1997:
This political activist brings to the Asbury Family a fresh view of a world in search of freedom. Because of her father's ministry as a Navy chaplain, cities like Keflavik, Iceland and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were home for Diane Lemasters Knippers during her teen years. Studies in history at Asbury and a masters degree in the sociology of religion at the University of Tennessee turned her attention to the church as a means of influence within the political structure.
Across the years, Mrs. Knippers has articulated an evangelical witness in addressing the sociological shifts and trends within the mainline church denominations. While her husband, Ed, taught on the College faculty, she served for eight years as associate exectutive secretary of Good News, an evangelical renewal movement within the United Methodist Church.
In 1993, Mrs. Knippers was elected president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) in Washington, D.C., an organization she had served since 1982. A weekly radio commentary for UPI radio on religon and public affairs was launched by Mrs Knippers in 1986. Reflecting her leadership, IRD is alert to threats to democracy and, thus, to religious freedom around the world.
IRD seeks to enable the Church to bring to bear a Christian witness in political systems. Mrs. Knippers sees her particular sense of vocation on the renewal and reform of the church in order to strengthen its mission and ministry in society. In her activist role, she sends forth a clarion call of evangelical faith for the church.
We celebrate Diane LeMaster Knippers' leadership with the Institute on Religion and Democracy as a voice speaking to the church. We commend her for the evangelical call in the midst of controversy and debate. For the passionate challenge spoken to students in chapel as well as the leadership given to the Alumni Association of her alma mater, we are debtors.