(Left to Right): Brenda and Karl Stegall, Janet and Paul Leeland.

On the evening of Thursday, January 31, Dr. Karl K. Stegall was honored by Wespath by being named the recipient of the 2019 Clay F. Lee Award.

According to Wespath (formerly called the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits), the Clay F. Lee Award “recognizes former directors of Wespath who have given exemplary service and visionary leadership in caring for the pension and health benefit needs of The United Methodist Church.” Stegall served 12 years on Wespath’s Board of Directors.

Wespath is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 100,000 active and retired clergy and lay employees of the Church. Stegall’s tenure on the board included time on the Building Committee for the new headquarters located in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Dr. Stegall was nominated for the award by Bishop Paul L. Leeland, who currently serves the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. The annual Award Dinner was held at the Kimpton Tyron Park Hotel in Charlotte, NC.

Presenting the award was Wespath General Secretary Barbara Boigegrain.  Boigegrain shared the impact Stegall had on Wespath as a director saying, “Karl provided a tremendous amount of leadership on our board and back within his own conference, helping to shape the organization we have become.”

Bishop Leeland also spoke on Stegall’s behalf. “Karl Stegall exemplifies Wespath’s commitment to care for those who serve the church,” he said.

Connecting Stegall’s service at Wespath with his dedication to the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Foundation, Leeland said,  “He believes that we cannot over-invest in the next generation of clergy leaders.” Watch his full speech here.

After thanking all  those who made the award possible, Stegall expressed his gratitude for the supporters of the Stegall Foundation.  “I receive this award tonight on behalf of all of the many wonderful clergy and lay members within the 625 churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference who have given so generously and sacrificially to support our efforts,”he said. “Because of their great outpouring of generosity, we are now able to give over one-half million dollars in cash scholarships to our seminary students each year.  Our goal is that one day we will be able to pay in full the tuition for all of our seminary students who have stepped out in faith to prepare for a lifetime of service to Jesus Christ and the church.”

The Wespath award is named in honor of Bishop Clay F. Lee who served Wespath as a member from 1980 to 1988 and as president from 1992 to 1996.