MADE POSSIBLE through donations given through the Julia Hardeman Rhodes Foundation and the Louisville ARP Women’s Ministry.
Julia Hardeman Rhodes was born in 1876 in Louisville, Georgia. After attending Wesleyan College, she returned to Louisville and married. Although they had no children, her home was always full of her nieces and nephews. To supplement their income, Julia served lunch on weekdays, and later took in female boarders. She was a woman of strong faith, and wanted women to aspire to Christian service. In 1905, she undertook a vision of organizing women in local churches on Presbyterial and Synodical levels. In 1906, the ARP women’s ministries organization began as Missionary Societies; later she organized Second Presbyterial. She also created The Bulletin, the denomination’s first women’s magazine that later became The Journal of Missions, an informational newsletter, which is now The ARP Magazine. Julia Rhodes died of cancer in 1942, but she is remembered for reaching beyond her local church to help organize ARP women across presbyteries and the denomination to work together for God’s glory and purpose.
When the ARP Women’s Ministries celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 at the Louisville ARP Church in Georgia, Mrs. Sarah Cannon and Rev. Doug White had the idea to honor Julia by giving a service award to a deserving female in the denomination who had performed outstanding service in an ARP Church.
Today the Office of Christian Education Ministries through the Julia Hardeman Rhodes Award Committee administers this award to insure the award’s continuance as well as to bring the award’s purpose, recognition and guidelines into a more concrete and consistent format.
The names of the recipients are added to plaques located in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Central Services Building in Greenville, SC and in the Synodical Hall at Bonclarken Assembly Grounds in Flat Rock, NC.
The Executive Director of Christian Education Ministries will make arrangements with the home church of the recipient for the award presentation. The recipient receives a framed certificate, a small gift and the grateful acknowledgment of, and thanks for, their contribution to the denomination.