The Pillar Awards ceremony is part of a three-day weekend experience filled with inspiration, recognition, and celebration at the Washington, D.C.-based museum. The award recipients this year are Lee Strobel, Greg Laurie, and Kay Arthur, who are being recognized for making outstanding contributions to the three core pillars of the Museum of the Bible – History, Narrative, and Impact.
Author and speaker Lee Strobel, whose work has been instrumental in unraveling the historical significance of the Bible is this year’s honored recipient of the Pillar Award for History.
The Pillar Award for Narrative will be given to pastor and author Greg Laurie, whose innovative and engaging storytelling has touched the lives of countless individuals across media platforms.
Finally, the Pillar Award for Impact will be presented to author and Bible teacher Kay Arthur, as her lifelong commitment to biblical education has transformed lives around the world.
The three will be honored at the awards ceremony which will also feature a live performance by renowned Grammy Award-winning artist CeCe Winans.
“This will be an unforgettable weekend celebrating the profound influence of the Bible and its collective impact on society,” Harry Hargrave, CEO of the Museum of the Bible said in a press release. “The honorees’ lives and work display a personal transformation built upon the Bible.”
Free Admission to Veterans and Military Personnel (Nov. 11 – Nov. 19)
In addition, the museum will honor the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans and active-duty military personnel by offering these heroes, their spouses, and children free admission from Saturday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), through Sunday, Nov. 19.
“Members of the military sacrifice a great deal for our country, so this is our small way of saying thank you,” said Hargrave. “We hope our visitors, veterans, and their loved ones will explore our galleries and be encouraged by how the Bible has served as a source of strength and peace in times of trouble.”
A valid military ID must be presented at the ticket counter for free admission. Accompanying guests of veterans and active-duty service members who are eligible for free admission must present a dependent ID card.
The museum will also unveil a new section of its “Bible in America” exhibit called Service to the Nation which features:
- Vesta O’Donnell’s World War II Pocket New Testament with Psalms. Vesta Aldora O’Donnell was given a Bible from the Christian organization Gideons International when she enrolled in telegraph school in Omaha, Nebraska. She moved to Washington State after graduation to work as a telegrapher relaying messages from the Pacific Theater.
- A copy of the Jewish Holy Scriptures Presented by the Army of the United States. These pocket Bibles were printed in 1942 for Jewish soldiers and sailors serving in the US Army and US Navy. They contain selections from the Hebrew Bible made by the Jewish Welfare Board, an organization that looked after the needs of Jewish soldiers and chaplains. They include a message from Franklin D. Roosevelt commending the Bible to soldiers “as an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.”
In addition, the museum will have a variety of military and veteran artifacts on display, including:
- Private George Raymond Rome‘s portrait, personal New Testament, shoulder sling and cartridge box and belt, buckle, scabbard, and percussion cap pouch. Pvt. Rome was one of nearly 180,000 African Americans to fight for the Union Army during the Civil War. Rome was born in 1835 to free African-American parents living in Providence, Rhode Island, and later moved to Worcester, Massachusetts. When the Civil War began in 1861, he and other African Americans were initially denied enlistment. However, the U.S. government reversed its policy in 1863, and Rome eventually joined the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, participating in several campaigns, including Sherman’s famous March to the Sea. He survived the war and died in 1900.
- Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) American Navy Edition New Testament. The YMCA printed a version of the New Testament for members of the United States Navy during World War I to encourage and strengthen those serving.
- Aitken New Testament and Aitken Bible. Robert Aiken, a Scottish immigrant to Philadelphia, printed his New Testament in 1777, breaking Britain’s monopoly on printing English-language Bibles. He later published The Aiken Bible in 1782, which earned the nickname “The Bible of the Revolution.”
The museum also has several military Bibles that are viewable online, including Admiral David Farragut’s Bible, John Weisenhamer’s German New Testament, The Soldier’s Pocket Bible, Gospel of John (Army and Navy Edition), Heart Shield Bibles, and a World War II Army New Testament signed by Babe Ruth.
The Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the transformative power of the Bible. For more information, click here.