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United Methodist communicators receive
religious journalism awards
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A UMNS photo by Manoutch Kazemzadich, RCC

Mike DuBose, with United Methodist Communications, receives the top award in photography from Jeanean Merkel of the Religion Communications Council.

April 5, 2006

By the Rev. Mike Hickcox*

GRAPEVINE, Texas (UMNS) — Mike DuBose, photographer for United Methodist Communications, has received the top award in photography given by the Religion Communications Council.

DuBose received a Best of Class trophy for his series of photos taken in Mozambique. He also received awards of excellence for photographs covering the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

The RCC gives the Best of Class award in 10 categories and DuBose was among 13 United Methodist communicators the council honored for their work during the past year. They joined some 80 other faith groups receiving DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Communications Awards during a ceremony March 30 in conjunction with the RCC’s annual meeting which ended April 1. The three-day event drew 110 members of the interfaith organization of religion communicators.

The award recognizes the achievements of RCC members who demonstrate excellence in their fields. Entries in various categories are judged by peers in local RCC chapters across the country for overall quality including writing, design, creativity, communication value and effectiveness in achieving its purpose. The awards honor the late Victor DeRose and Paul M. Hinkhouse, leading lithographers in New York City.

Victoria Goff, chair of the DeRose-Hinkhouse awards and executive with National Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA in Valley Forge said, “These awards validate the imagination and originality so plentiful in our RCC family. They demonstrate the high quality of work that institutions receive from our RCC members.”

In addition to giving best of awards, the RCC also gives awards of excellence to those entries judged among the best in their categories. Winners of this award include:

  • Kathy Gilbert of United Methodist News Service for writing, “Church agencies battle spread of HIV from mothers to babies.”
  • Christie R. House and Hal Sadler of New World Outlook in the category of Magazine, National for “Hope in the Midst of AIDS.”
  • Hal Sadler of New World Outlook for design of publication cover.
  • Robin Russell of the United Methodist Reporter for writing, single story feature, “Letters from dad helps men leave legacy of love.”
  • Paul Jeffrey of New World Outlook for photography series on “India/Pakistan.”
  • Kristen Del Mul of the United Methodist Reporter for illustration, “When Tall Ships Carried the Gospel” and for design,“Healing Katrina Victims’ Pain.”

The Award of Merit is given to entries that rank in the top 20 percent of entries in their categories. These winners include:

  • Kathy Gilbert of United Methodist News Service, writing, “Mozambique: Land of Contrasts.”
  • Harry T. Leake of United Methodist Communications for a documentary/educational video, “New Beginnings: The gifts of Aging.”
  • Fran Coode Walsh, Ginny Underwood and Jan Snider of United Methodist Communications in the broadcast/cable TV, national program category, “Prayer Pager.”
  • Cindy Caldwell and Kathy Noble of United Methodist Communications for Internet communication, “Resources on the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, marketing and public relations. Established in 1929, it is the oldest association of religion communicators in America. There are 14 local chapters around the country as well as members-at-large in cities where a chapter does not exist. The chapters meet monthly, providing an outlet for education and networking for the members. Chapters also serve to promote excellence in the communication of religious faith and values as well as understanding among diverse faith groups.

A complete list of the 2006 DeRose-Hinkhouse award winners and additional information about RCC can be found at The 2007 RCC convention will be held April 26-28 in Louisville, Ky. 

*Hickcox is manager of radio initiatives for United Methodist Communications.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or

Sample Photos by Mike DuBose

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