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Shari Prestemon, executive director of Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Miss., will deliver the annual Lakeland College Founders' Day Lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Prestemon will speak at 11 a.m. in the Bradley Theatre on the Lakeland campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Founders' Day is an annual Lakeland event that recognizes the church's contributions to Lakeland and provides a time to reflect on Lakeland's strong tradition with the United Church of Christ.
Prestemon has served in her current role since August 2000. She is ordained in the United Church of Christ and served local parishes in Wheaton, Ill., and Stevens Point before receiving the call to Back Bay Mission.
She has received the Reinhold Niebuhr Award for Service by Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis (2007), and the Alumni of the Year Award from Chicago Theological Seminary (2008). She received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Heidelberg University (Ohio) in May 2010.
Prestemon received her bachelor's degree in social work from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) in 1989. She was awarded the master of divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1993 and was ordained that same year.
She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Chicago Theological Seminary, as vice-chair of the UCC's Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors and on the executive council of the UCC.
Prestemon is passionate about the responsibility of the church, communities and individuals to make a constructive difference in the world. She believes every person is a child of God with inherent dignity and worth.