Medal of Honor Awarded to Champion and Jacques
During the Wednesday business session of the General Council, General Superintendent George O. Wood awarded Norma Champion and Don Jacques the prestigious General Superintendent’s Medal of Honor.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award the Assemblies of God bestows upon a layperson and is reserved for those who have greatly distinguished themselves through meritorious service to God, the church and fellow citizens.
Following is the recognition given by General Superintendent Wood during the presentation.
Norma Champion has filled many distinguished roles in her years of public service including, State legislator, State Senator, professor, writer, producer, TV host, as well as that of wife, mother and grandmother.
After graduating from Central Bible College, Norma became the writer, producer and host of Children’s Hour, a top-rated television program in Southwest Missouri that ran for 29 years. During this time, she became affectionately known to young and old as “Aunt Norma.”
In 1987, Norma launched a political career by successfully running for a city council position in Springfield, Missouri. After serving in this capacity for five years, Norma was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives where she would serve for the next 10 years.
In 2003, Norma was elected to the Missouri State Senate and continues in this role today. She currently serves as the chairperson for the committees on aging, family and mental health, and public health. She has distinguished herself as a leader and as someone who models the Christian faith in the public arena.
Norma has served on the faculty of Evangel University since 1978, teaching courses in the areas of communications, broadcasting and political science. She has served this church through several boards and committees, including chairing the board of Berean College, and serving on the Global and Higher Education boards. She holds a masters degree from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She was recently named as one of the 20 most influential women in Springfield.
Norma is the widow of the late Richard Champion who was managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel from 1955 until 1984 when he was named editor and served that position until his death in 1994. She has a son and a daughter and two grandchildren.
Her interim pastor, Don Tucker, states, “In a world in dire need of those who would model godliness, integrity, sincerity and clarity of values, Norma Champion embodies all of these qualities. Her stand for Christ is solid and unshakeable, whether standing in the sanctuary of her church or in the halls of the state legislature.”
For an exemplary life, bringing glory and honor to God and to this church, it is my privilege to confer upon Norma Champion the General Superintendent’s Medal of Honor.
For nearly 40 years, Don Jacques has been actively involved in the ministry of Light for the Lost. His creativity and dedication have been instrumental in raising millions of dollars for missions.
Don became a Light for the Lost councilman in 1973 and has served as Light for the Lost director for the Southern Missouri District since 1977. He served 16 years on the LFTL executive committee, including 12 as president. Don served four years as the Southern Missouri District Men’s director. He has led MAPS construction teams and has ministered in 37 districts and 30 countries.
Don has been a participant and passionate promoter of cook teams who travel to various Light for the Lost commitment banquets and cook steaks for the events. He has also been instrumental in developing more than a dozen cook wagons, delivering them to districts where he also provided training in their use.
A real estate broker since 1976, Don is the founder and owner of the Jacques Company. He is known for his integrity as a realtor and commitment to excellence. Don has been a faithful member of Central Assembly of God since 1982 and served 12 years on its deacon board.
His district superintendent, Bill Baker, states, “Don Jacques is an outstanding layperson and a man of integrity. He has promoted Light for the Lost in the Southern Missouri District for nearly 40 years generating over $6 million. He has promoted LFTL across America and initiated men’s ministries in several foreign nations.”
Don married Jan Lawson in 1968. They have two sons and a daughter and four grandchildren.
For an exemplary life, bringing glory and honor to God and to this church, it is my privilege to confer upon Don Jacques the General Superintendent’s Medal of Honor.