Outstanding. Industrious. Leadership.

The Operation Andrew Group honors excellence Christian Civic Leadership in Nashville for the 10th consecutive year.

Celebrating these three outstanding leaders who demonstrate industrious humility, while exhibiting Christian leadership characteristics to all, strengthens our city:

DR. RICHARD ALLEN LEWIS, SR. serves as Treasurer/CFO of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  He is the owner of Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors, President and CEO of Metrodee Inc./franchise of Captain D’s Restaurant and President and CEO of Transfare, Inc.  He served as Chairman of the Board and President of Citizens Savings Bank and Trust, Nashville.  Dr. Lewis graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in Business Administration and attained a graduate degree in banking from Louisiana State University. He was also awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Payne Theological Seminary and Shorter College.  Presently he serves on the Board of Trustees for Tennessee State University and Wilberforce University.  He is married to Delorse Askins Lewis and they are the parents of Richard Allen II and Michael Anthony and granddaughter, Kennedi. 

SANDY BLEDSOE serves as Vice President of Risk and Insurance Management for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently launched Enterprise Risk Management for the medical center. Bledsoe, with a Mastter’s in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University, has addressed the American Health Law Association, CNA Insurance Company, and the Willis Healthcare forum. Bledsoe has served on the a Boards of Alive Hospice and the Wayne Reed Christian Child Care Center. She is an active member of the Otter Creek Church. Married to Dr. Craig Bledsoe, they are the parents of Scott Bledsoe.

DR. CHARLES McGOWAN has served in both the U.S. Army and the Office of Naval Intelligence as a Special Agent in counterintelligence. A graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, McGowan has served as a Senior Pastor in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by King College, and appointed as the Moderator of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church in America. McGowan, a founding member of the Operation Andrew Board of Trustees, assumed the Presidency after retiring as Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church and Academy. Recently he founded McGowan Search, guiding congregations searching for pastoral leadership. Married for over 50 years, Charles delights in God’s gift of four children, nineteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Past recipients include:

Miles Ezell Jr., Marty Dickens, Lee Beaman, Sam Bartholomew, Beth Harwell, Lee Barfield, Stuart McWhorter, Howard Gentry, Amy Grant, Don Finto, Bill Carpenter, Dee Anna Smith, and L.H. Hardwick.

Ambassador Joe Rodgers, as one of the initial founders of The Operation Andrew Group, was a servant leader who recognized that by encouraging all people, and honoring them in Christ, unity can be built and maintained though out lifetimes.


“...that all of them may be one,

Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

John 17: 21