On February 3, Asbury Methodist Village resident Rev. Hal Garman was honored with a Person of Character Award at the City of Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council meeting. Rev. Garman joined 34 people honored with the award since Gaithersburg became a CHARACTER COUNTS! City in 1996.
Garman created the Beloved Community Initiative two years ago, after moving to Asbury Methodist Village. His goal was to make Asbury a more integrated part of the surrounding community. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s notion of “beloved communities” where people work together for social justice, the Initiative includes the Wesley Theological Seminary, City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County government officials and Identity Latino outreach.
Its largest program provides mentors for students at Gaithersburg Elementary School. In August, Garman, 77, guided a culturally mixed group of students and sponsors to the 50th Anniversary March on Washington. “It’s not doing for someone else, it’s doing with someone else,” said Garman, who spent 40 years as a minister and community activist. “It does something for my spirit.”
The award is administered by the City of Gaithersburg and offered through its Educational Enrichment Committee. Nominations are received from the community on an ongoing basis for individuals or businesses that exhibit one or more of the six Pillars of Character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.