Rev. Bradley Smith, Pastor at St. John, Fraser has been named one of four recipients of the 2017 Fr. John B. Zwers Award by the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools (MANS) Board of Trustees.
Rev. Smith was nominated for the award by Mr. David Waltz, principal at St. John Lutheran School in Fraser.
According to Waltz, “Pastor Smith strengthens and encourages the congregation and the school families in the importance of Christian education and its impact on lives. Sermons and his daily involvement allow the Holy Spirit to work with those encounters.”
He added: “There is power in one’s presence while serving in ministry. You can reliably catch Pastor Smith in the morning greeting the arriving parents and students. When the opportunity allows, he visits the school board meetings and shares a message of encouragement to its members. Pastor Smith even makes time to attend the school’s athletic events.”
Fr. John B. Zwers was a founding member of MANS and served faithfully on the MANS Board of Trustees from 1972 until his death in 2004.
“Recognizing the critical importance that a pastor plays in successful faith-based education, the MANS Board instituted the Fr. Zwers award to recognize members of the clergy with a strong history of support for faith-based schools. These individuals are able to articulate the importance of a faith-based education, have ongoing connections to the school community, parents, teachers, and students, and demonstrate support in leading the school community,” said MANS Executive Director Brian D. Broderick.
Together with Pastor Smith, three others were also recognized with the Fr. Zwers award at the opening ceremony of the MANS Administrators’ Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich. on October 11, 2017. These individuals are: Mr. Rod Brandsen, principal at Holland Christian Rose Park Elementary School, Holland; Rev. Timothy Nelson, Pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea, Jackson, and Rev. Dennis Stillwell, Pastor at St. Frances Xavier, Petoskey.
MANS represents over 400 faith-based schools across the State of Michigan, including Catholic schools within the seven dioceses of Michigan, the Michigan District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Schools, Michigan Region of Christian Schools International, and the Association of Christian Schools International.
In the photo, from L-R: Mr. David Waltz, Principal; Mrs. Judy and Rev. Bradley Smith; Mr. Travis Grulke
Photo courtesy of Travis Grulke