2007 Living Legends Award Honorees
ABOUT THE 2007 HONOREES . . . .
LENA McLIN was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Her father was a Baptist pastor and her mother was his Minister of Music. Lena McLin went to live in Chicago with her uncle, gospel composer Thomas Dorsey, when his wife, Nettie, died in childbirth. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Music degree in piano and violin from Spelman College in Atlanta, and then received her Master of Music from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Ms McLin taught music in the Chicago public high schools for 36 years, nurturing hundreds of young singers and musicians. She is also a renowned composer of a wide range of music, including cantatas, masses, solo and choral arrangements of spirituals, anthems, rock operas, soul songs, works for piano and orchestra, and electronic music. Her most famous compositions are Gwendolyn Brooks: A Musical Portrait, Free at Last, Psalm 117, and The Little Baby. In all her pieces, her musical style remains rooted in the church and gospel. Lena McLin still resides in Chicago.
MEADE C VAN PUTTEN was born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and emigrated to the U.S. mainland in 1945. He attended Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, and Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University), in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1951. Elder VanPutten was ordained to the Ministry in June 23, 1956, in Lake Region Conference. He worked in the Lake Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventist for 20 years; 11 years as a Pastor-Evangelist in Michigan and Indiana, and 9 years as Conference Secretary-Treasurer in Chicago, IL. In 1971, he transferred to Allegheny East Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1971 where he served as the conference treasurer for 7 years, conference executive secretary for 3 years and conference president for 8 years. Elder VanPutten was called to the Church World Headquarters in 1989, where he served the North American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as associate secretary and associate treasurer, respectively for 1989 thru 1995. He retired at the end of August 1995. He resides in Laurel, MD with his wife of 54 years, Daphne, a retired high school teacher. Elder VanPutten is still active with church activities and serves on the Board of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
JUAN WILLIAMS is senior correspondent for National Public Radio and a political analyst for television’s Fox News. In addition to a 23-year career as a reporter and a columnist for the Washington Post, he is the author of the critically acclaimed biography Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, the best-selling Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, the companion volume to the award-winning PBS Series, and his most recent publication, Enough, among other books. During his 21-year career at the Washington Post, Juan Williams served as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, and a White House correspondent. He has won an Emmy award for TV documentary writing and received widespread critical acclaim for a series of documentaries including Politics-The New Black Power. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Delise Williams.