ACU Honors Ethiopian Church Leader/Educator

for immediate release Feb. 24, 1998

Abilene Christian University honored the leader of the three Church of Christ Mission Schools for the Deaf in Ethiopia with the International Servant Leadership Award on Monday, Feb. 23, during Lectureship.

Demere Chernet of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has served as the leader of the schools for more than 30 years. Enrolling more than 250 children each year, the schools have provided stable Christian learning environments for thousands of deaf children over time.

"Demere Chernet has stood fast as an exemplary Christian leader through times of famine, poverty, political turmoil and civil war," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "The threat of persecution has not turned him from his efforts to train Christian ministers and nurture churches in his country."

The award specifically honors Chernet "for his leadership in the education of the deaf in Ethiopia; for his humble example in working for the Lord in Christian service to the poor and disabled; for his teaching, preaching, and servant leadership in churches and preacher training schools; and for his enduring loyalty to the work of the Lord, the Church of Christ Mission Leadership, and love for his countrymen."

Chernet was one of the first elders of a Church of Christ on the continent of Africa.

Dr. Jon Ashby, an ACU professor of communication disorders who has worked with Chernet, said this award is an important recognition of native ministers who have been in service of the Lord for many years. "Americans may go over as resources to the leaders, but all of the ministries are planned and brought to fruition by the Ethiopians."

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Last update: February 26, 1998