On September 30th 21Wilberforce presented the second annual Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom award to Archbishop Benjamin and Dr. Gloria Kwashi of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Church of Nigeria.
The Kwashi’s were recognized for their exemplary leadership in serving society’s vulnerable and those who suffer for their faith.
Named for Congressman Frank Wolf who has worked tirelessly for decades to promote international religious freedom and later served on staff with 21Wilberforce, the award was presented at a dinner held at Dallas Baptist University.
Randel Everett, former executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and former pastor of First Baptist Church of Midland, is the founder and President of 21Wilberforce. Randel Everett says, “their life story is one of courage, faith and boundless love.”
Archbishop Kwashi is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Nigeria and General Secretary of GAFCON. He is well known as an evangelist throughout Nigeria, Africa, England, and the United States. Dr. Gloria Kwashi has been Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild and Girls’ Guild, and is the Provincial Trainer for the Mothers’ Union (Church of Nigeria).
For many years Boko Haram, one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world, has spawned unrest, displacement, and death in northern Nigeria. The Kwashi’s have not escaped the violence. Their vicarage and church were burned to the ground and they have survived several assassination attempts. In response, the Kwashi’s took in 50 orphans who lost their parents due to the violence. Dr. Gloria Kwashi also founded the Zambiri Outreach and Child Care Centre. The primary and secondary school serves 400 pupils – all of whom receive free education, free feeding, uniform, and medical care.
At the event, 21Wilberforce also launched The Freedom Center (21wfreedom.center), a new collection of online tools and resources including step-by-step suggestions and examples for anyone who wants to become more active in raising awareness and strengthening the voices of those persecuted for their faith or belief around the world. “The time is ripe for fresh resources to inspire and equip for advocacy,” Randel Everett says. “21Wilberforce wants to provide specific tools and guidance for how to do that effectively. We will continue to add new resources throughout the coming months.”