Back to All Events

Joe & Honey Rodgers Dinner Celebration

  • Lipscomb University, Allen Arena One University Park Drive Nashville, TN 37204 USA (map)

Impacting Our City with Vision


The Tenth Annual Joe and Honey Rodgers Christian Civic Leadership Celebration honors the outstanding achievement of men and women in the Nashville area.

A reception will begin at 6:00pm, with the dinner and main program at 6:30pm.

Dr. Richard Allen Lewis, Sr., and Sandy Bledsoe will be honored for their impact as Christian Civic Leaders, and Dr. Charles McGowan will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the faith community.

The evening features Lee Camp, Jeff Taylor, Buddy Greene, and Odessa Settles leading hymns. We look to the future together, strengthening our city-wide connections.

The Legacy of the Rodgers Award

The Rodgers Award honors leadership across a broad cross-sector of civic service, elevated by characteristics of the Christian faith, investing in people, stimulating development and promoting integrity in many areas of life. These are all qualities of the individuals who are receiving awards this year.


Dr. Richard Allen Lewis, Sr. serves as Treasurer/CFO of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  He is the owner of Lewis & 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. 

 Sandra Bledsoe serves serves as the Vice President of Risk and Insurance Management for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Recently, she 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 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.

Recipients are chosen by a blue ribbon selection committee made up of a diverse group of civic, faith and business leaders.

Key characteristics of excellence, investing in people, stimulating the marketplace and promoting unity in the city are all qualities of the individuals who have been honored. Former honorees are: Bill Carpenter, Dee Anna Smith, L.H. Hardwick, Howard Gentry, Amy Grant, Don Finto, Stuart McWhorter, Lee Barfield, Beth Harwell, Sam Bartholomew, Lee Beaman, Marty Dickens, and Miles Ezell, Jr. 

Joe and Honey Rodgers were devoted to serving a wide range of interests in Nashville through their faith, in business, and by representing our country as Ambassadors to France.

The 2018 Christian Civic Leadership Celebration Dinner is sponsored by partners of Operation Andrew, and will be held on November 5, at the Lipscomb University, Allen Arena.

All proceeds to benefit The Operation Andrew Group. Donations are tax deductible.