Each year during Annual Conference, the Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) recognizes a North Alabama United Methodist willing to risk and stand up for the rights of women and ethnic minority persons through the Louise Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award.
During the 2019 North Alabama Annual Conference in June, COSROW Chair Rev. Kelsey Grissom presented the report of COSROW and announced that the 2019 Branscomb Barrier Breaker Award recipient was Rev. Lucy Morales.
Rev. Grissom noted that COSROW’s role is to advocate for the full inclusion of women at every level of the church and send invited all Annual Conference member to be a part of this work. She noted significant actions COSROW has taken in the last year including a resolution passed by the 2018 Annual Conference Concerning Parity in Appointments, a request for childcare at weekend Conference meetings, and a nursing mother’s room at Annual Conference wired with video and sound of the Conference proceedings.
She also noted, “COSROW’s role is an act of both faith and love “to hold [this Conference] accountable to the ideals that God set before us when God gave us our identity as people of God.”
During the second part of the report, she recognized the 2019 nominees for the Branscomb Award. They include the following clergy persons:
• Stephanie Arnold
• Dave Barnhart
• Sandra Locke-Godbey
• Lucy Morales
• Dorothy Ann Webster
Rev. Lucy Morales, the North Alabama Conference Hispanic Strategist, was then named as this year's award recipient and invited to address the Conference.
Rev. Morales said, “To break a barrier for me is to be able to reach out to those that have not been reached yet … have not been reached yet because of the many barriers that they may have … language, class race, ethnicity, etc.”
She then shared her story of Christian faith and eventually being in ministry here in North Alabama noting, "I have been able to [be in] ministry with people of many nations and to open doors for them in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Watch the video below to see the full COSROW report and the Branscomb Award presentation (starts at 15:30).