She Leads America, a diverse organization of accomplished Christian women from across the nation, recognized NRB members Dr. Susan Michael of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), Joni Eareckson Tada of Joni and Friends, and Terry Anne Meeuwsen of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) among their 2023 Christian Women of Distinction awardees.
Past and present awardees include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Dr. Alveda King, and Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears. The “Christian Women of Distinction” award is bestowed annually upon ten individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership, unwavering dedication, and exemplary service within their specific fields and communities. This year’s awards were presented by Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) at a special event at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22. Each recipient receives congressional recognition, with their names and accomplishments entered into the Congressional Record in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In presenting the award to Michael, McClain stated,
Susan’s studies and travel to Israel over the past 45 years have allowed her to skillfully handle a variety of issues regarding biblical and modern Israel. To that end, Susan is a remarkably gifted author, teacher, and speaker. She has produced highly cited articles, podcasts, and education resources, serving many throughout the world. Mr. Speaker, these women, including Dr. Michael, have left an indelible mark on countless lives. They are pioneers whose examples have inspired many—and [they] will continue to.
Dr. Michael said, “It is a particular honor to be recognized in the Congressional record because my father appeared in it many years before. My father raised me to be everything I could be, and he funded my education, including my studies in Israel. It was there I found my life’s purpose.”
“Leadership is lonely,” she continued. “I want to express my gratitude to Liz Doyle, executive director of She Leads America, and all of those involved in this important work of honoring women in leadership.”
Of Tada, McClain shared,
One of the women honored by She Leads America, Joni Eareckson Tada, is a hero to many. In 1967, Joni was left paralyzed by a diving accident but quickly emerged from rehabilitation, determined to help others who have similar disabilities. Her autobiography, Joni, has been adapted into a film and was also translated into 15 different languages. Today, she serves as the CEO of Joni and Friends, which serves to assist those who are disabled and in need of assistance. Through this organization, Joni has delivered over 220,000 wheelchairs in developing nations and has hosted over 64,000 families at Family Retreats and Getaways. Joni also had the unique opportunity to serve her country on the National Council on Disability during the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Elizabeth Doyle, founder and executive director of She Leads America, congratulated Tada, saying, “Your outstanding leadership has been an inspiration to many across this country, and the globe, so it is only proper that She Leads America, gives tribute to you. Our goal is to see the many beautiful streams of ministry flowing through our Nation represented by you and the other women nominated, become a mighty river of righteousness as we come together in unity under King Jesus.”
Of Meeuswen, McClain said,
Terry Anne Meeuwsen, is a trail- blazer and recognized talent in Christian broadcasting. In 1973, Terry was crowned Miss America and has since used her singing and acting talents on television. For over 30 years, Terry has greeted millions of viewers from the Christian Broadcasting Network’s studio in Virginia Beach. Terry is also an accomplished author, children’s advocate, and inspiration to many.
NRB congratulates Dr. Susan Michael, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Terry Anne Meeuwsen on receiving this well-deserved honor in recognition of their tireless and fruitful contributions in the field of global Christian ministry.