IAMSCU presented the James T. Laney Global Ethical Leadership Award during the special ceremony at Kingswood School, in Bath, UK. This award was established “to recognize individuals for truly outstanding institutional leadership grounded in moral courage and integrity and formed by the highest ethical standards and commitment to them.” The award was first presented to James T. Laney, a Methodist Pastor, former Dean of Candler School of Theology, former President of Emory University, and US Ambassador to South Korea. Thereafter, the award was named after him.
In 2023, the IAMSCU Board of Directors decided that this award should be presented to The Rev. Dr. David Gerald Deeks for his distinguished career of outstanding leadership in the church and in higher education, a lifetime of ethical service truly worthy of emulation. Well known throughout the British Methodist connection for his humility and faithfulness to his vocation, Dr. Deeks has left his imprint in profound and indisputable ways. As his nominator put it, “It is difficult to express the sheer scale of his impact within this work.” He established and defined the role of the General Secretary of the British Methodist Church, leading strategically and courageously to position the church for a positive future. For example, he spearheaded the complex negotiations which led to the ground-breaking covenant between the Methodist Church and the Church of England. This parchment is signed under seal by Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Deeks. His biography recites numerous other significant accomplishments in several other responsible positions from the general church level to the local parish. The same can be said for his roles in academia, including university, theological education, and campus ministry: tutor, lecturer, Vice Principle, chaplain, trustee, various chairmanships, governor, etc. As a teacher, he was highly regarded for his insight, clarity, and intelligence. As a pastoral tutor, he was treasured for his individual knowledge and encouragement of his students. In the midst of all of this, Dr. Deeks led the reshaping of organizations of public education and the independent sector in England.
Dr. Deeks was present at the Special Dinner at Kingswood School, accepted and received the award, and then offered a speech, congratulating and also challenging IAMSCU to invest in the task of transforming lives.