Disciples News Service

Disciples pastors receive President’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Drs. Matt and Mary Harris of California received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award on June 11, 2017 for their work for Project IMPACT, a ministry based in Los Angeles.

According to a press release from Project IMPACT, Matt and Mary were nominated independently for this award. After careful review of their community service, they both were selected to receive this prestigious award.

The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a citizen of the United States in his/her lifetime and comes from the office of the President of the United States. The review and award selection was made during the Obama administration and therefore will be signed by President Barack Obama.

“Matt and Mary have been amazing Disciple leaders not only for Project IMPACT, but also for our regional and general Church. Their vision has transformed the lives of so many young people and their families in instilling hope, confidence, and a future. We in the PSWR are very proud of their work and partnership in ministry,” says Co-Regional Minister and President of the Pacific Southwest Region Rev. Don Dewey.

While serving as pastors at First Christian Church in Lynwood, California in 1986, the Harrises were inspired to search for a solution to community issues including like gangs, drugs, and violence. Their congregation partnered with the city government to create the first Project IMPACT center at their church.

Project IMPACT is a faith-based organization that brings churches of all faith backgrounds together to support their communities and needy youth and families. Over the last 30 years, Project IMPACT has grown to serve over 40,000 youth across the country through counseling, job placement, parent education, mentoring and tutoring.

Drs. Matt and Mary Harris are both active in the Pacific Southwest region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Project IMPACT is a related ministry of the region.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and has been administered by the Points of Light Foundation. Learn more about the award online.