Steward of God's Creation Award

The Steward of God?s Creation award is bestowed to those individuals who exhibit courage and commitment in the caring and keeping of the earth in a heroic, distinguished and effective manner. Awardees are determined by a vote of religious leaders and bestowed at a public event, normally the National Prayer Breakfast for Creation Care, which is sponsored annually by a coalition of religious organizations and affiliates.

   

Larry Gibson (1946-2012) Posthumous Award
Kayford Mountain, West Virginia
Larry GibsonLarry Gibson grew up on Kayford Mountain in the heart of coal country. That once thriving community folded up as the mines played out, so at age 10 Gibson's family moved to northern Ohio. There Gibson workes as a custodian in an automobile factory for several decades. He had a 5th grade education. Upon an early retirement due to disability, Gibson moved back to his Kayford homeplace and discovered that his beloved mountains were being blown up by massive explosives for the coal. Gibson was one of the first persons to actively oppose mountaintop removal (MTR).Gibson walked the state of West Virginia to draw attention to the destruction of the mountains. He founded a foundation to protect the 57 acres left of his family's historic homeplace, now surrounded by the moonscapes of mountaintop removal. Many thousands of people have come to Kayford Mountain where they can see firsthand the destruction caused by ravenous MTR. Gibson has led many tours of MTR, spoken at hundreds of churches, universities, and gatherings all over the USA, and has participated in many rallies and actions of civil disobedience including numerous arrests. Gibson has been in numerous films, movies, radio programs, books, and publications.

Gibson suffered over 130 acts of vandalism and violent actions toward him and his property for his stand against MTR. Gibson's extraordinary courage, resolute conviction for justice, his love for people, and his respect for the heritage of land and people have been life-changing for many people. While Gibson was short of stature, education, and work prominence, his influence and legacy will continue to ripple outward for many generations to come.

Larry Gibson held several family festivals every year on Kayford Mountain. The last one was a Gospel Festival Sept. 1, 2, 2013. Gibson died of a heart attack a week later at his home on Kayford Mountain.

 

LIST OF RECIPIENTS

1999
Vincent Rossi
Chad Hanson

2000

Dr. Bob Marshall
Rev. Owen Owens
Julia "Butterfly" Hill
Jim Davidson
Dr. Robert Jonas

2001

Chief Michael Dombeck
Dr. Barak Gale

2002

Hume Davenport
Ann Alexander

2003

Rep. Cynthia McKinney

2004

Connie Hanson
Fr. Jacek Orzechowski

2005

Rev. Peter Moore-Kochlacs

 

 

 

 

2006

Allen Johnson

2007

Rabbi Warren Stone
Thomas Herschelmen

2008

Carlos Agnesi
Fred Krueger

2009

Dr. Calvin DeWitt

2010

Dr. James Hansen

2011

Lisa Jackson

2012

Wendell Berry
Dr. Tom English
Dr. Lise Van Susteren

2013

Bill McKibben
Larry Gibson