Head of Chatham Hospital Chaplaincy Program Receives Humanitarian Award from Siler City Council of Churches
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 31, 2006
SILER CITY, N.C. Chatham Hospital today announced that the Rev. Neal Kight, head of the Chatham Hospital chaplaincy program, has been presented with a community Humanitarian Award by the Siler City Council of Churches. Kight is president of the Western Chatham Ministerial Association and pastor of the Church of God.
The award, which honors Kight for his dedication, service and lifelong commitment to the well-being of people of all race, creed and color, was presented by the Rev. Barry Gray, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, during services at Jordan Matthews High School on Martin Luther King Day.
I was totally surprised and honored by the award, Kight said. Ive devoted much of my career to cross-cultural ministries and the celebration of diversity, and it is wonderful to be recognized for those efforts.
Prior to his move to Siler City six years ago, Kight spent 13 years as pastor of a thriving Native American church on a Navajo reservation in Gallup, N.M., and as youth and Christian education director for 30 churches in that region.
My wife and I were the only whites in our congregation, so we had a first-hand experience of what it felt like to be a minority, Kight said.
Once he arrived in Siler City, Kight not only began outreach efforts with the local Hispanic community, but also began to build relationships with African-American churches serving as a frequent guest speaker and helping to establish twice-a-year communitywide services that bring local congregations together to worship and to celebrate the communitys diversity. He has taught at the interdenominational Bible Institute, an African-American school devoted to religious education, and was featured in the 2003 PBS special Matters of Race.
Last year Kight was one of 11 members of the Chatham Hospital Chaplaincy Program to receive a prestigious Pastoral Care Certificate from Duke Divinity School. The certificate culminated a year-long course of study and extensive volunteer hours in the community to build skills in leading an effective community health ministry.
Kight resides in Siler City with his wife is Sharon and their children, Danae and Sean.