Contact: Roberta Cox (214) 768-2335
Perkins School of Theology

March 4, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- Norm and Lynda Peters of Georgetown, Texas, founders of the Medical, Eye, & Dental International Care Organization, Inc., are recipients of the 2003 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award, presented annually by the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. The award recognizes laypersons who exemplify Christian faith and commitment to Christ through service to others.

The award, to be presented at a ceremony March 8 during the 30th Annual Laity Week at Perkins, honors the memory of the late Judge Woodrow B. Seals, a senior U. S. district court judge who was instrumental in establishing Laity Week. This annual event draws approximately 200 laypersons from around the country for workshops and discussions led by Perkins faculty members.

"We at Perkins, the university, and in the church are truly honored by persons such as Lynda and Norm Peters," said William B. Lawrence, dean of the Perkins School of Theology. "Their steadfast faith, actions and courage on behalf of the church and the poor in Central America provide strong models for Christian discipleship."

M.E.D.I.C.O. is an independent nonprofit foundation that sends volunteer medical teams into developing countries to provide free services for people with little or no access to basic medical care. Since 1989 the organization has sent 80 teams to Central American countries, particularly Honduras. When hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras, the Peterses led M.E.D.I.C.O. efforts that raised $120,000 in aid and supplied tons of medicine, food, clothing and other materials for the ravaged country. The organization also has brought some severe medical cases to the United States for remedial surgical procedures. Collaborating with more than a dozen host organizations, M.E.D.I.C.O. has served over 100,000 people.

Norm Peters is an independent financial services professional. An active lay leader in First United Methodist Church of Georgetown, he has been a two-term chairman of the church's Board of Trustees and a member of its Administrative Board. He has served on the Stewardship, Building, Finance, Missions, Facilities and Worship committees and is a longtime member of the church's choir. Also active in civic affairs, he was a founder and president of Georgetown Caring Place, the primary nonprofit human resources organization meeting needs of the poor in the community, and a founder and first co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Georgetown Area Community Foundation. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president for university relations at St. Edward's University in Austin and as a development officer at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and Southwestern University in Georgetown.

Currently executive director of M.E.D.I.C.O., Lynda Peters has participated in 39 mission trips to Central America. In 1999 she was recognized by the First Lady of Honduras, Mary Flakes de Flores, for humanitarian service to that country through M.E.D.I.C.O. She has served First United Methodist Church as a member of its Board of Trustees and Youth Design Team and on the Finance and Missions committees. She currently serves on the church's Stewardship and Staff Parish Relations committees. Her community service activities include membership on the Global Leadership Initiative Committee for Southwestern University and the Georgetown Emmaus Community. She was a co-founder of the Georgetown Newcomers Club. In addition, Lynda and Norm Peters were co-founders of the Contemporary Forum Adult Sunday School Class, with a current membership of nearly 150, at First United Methodist Church.

Perkins School of Theology was one of the original schools of Southern Methodist University, which was founded in 1911 by what is now The United Methodist Church. Perkins is one of five university-related United Methodist theological schools in the nation. In addition to its programs at the Dallas campus, Perkins offers extension programs in Houston-Galveston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.