press release

Five Leaders Honored with United Methodist Global AIDS Committee Awards

The United Methodist Global Aids Committee (UMGAC) announced today the 2024 recipients of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Leadership Award. The awards ceremony is during the Breaking Barriers AIDS Conference on April 22, at The First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C., 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., day before the opening of the United Methodist General Conference.

The leadership awards are presented to persons and churches that have provided outstanding leadership in providing education, prevention, care and treatment in the struggle to eliminate HIV and AIDS in the world.

“All five persons are noted for their antipathy to AIDS stigma and discrimination, and their advocacy of human rights for all people,” said Donald E. Messer, member of the executive committee of the United Methodist Global AIDS Committee.

The 2024 Leadership Award Honorees:

Bishop Julius C. Trimble, episcopal leader of the Indiana Annual Conference
Bishop Trimble has served as a leader and chair of UMGAC since 2015. His leadership has been instrumental in keeping the topic of HIV and AIDS at the forefront of the UMC’s global health concerns. Bishop Trimble has actively shared his hopes for an AIDS-free world through news articles, sermons, podcasts and various speaking engagements. Though he is retiring as episcopal leader, Bishop Trimble has expressed his desire to continue the work and ministry of ridding the world of AIDS.

Bahati Augustin, pastor and conference treasurer in Rwanda
Pastor Augustin has combined his Christian ministry with a passion for the marginalized and stigmatized in his country. With courage and compassion, he has spoken out for persons who are living with HIV and their families. He has challenged church persons to respect the human rights of all persons and not mistreat LGBTQ+ persons. At United Methodist church conferences in Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kenya, as well as during international webinars, Bahati has been prophetic and inclusive in his understanding of the church’s mission and ministry. He founded the Inclusion Mission for Health and Hope, a non-profit in Rwanda, that provides health care and insurance to impoverished families, supports scholarships for sexual minorities, and has built a Christian network of human rights activists in the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya.

Filipino Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso Juan
Bishop Juan with his engaging and winsome personality, hosted visitors from the United States during the first AIDS conference sponsored by UMGAC. He encouraged speakers to frankly deal with human sexuality and the need for HIV prevention, care, and treatment. He scheduled additional AIDS conferences in his area, though some were never held due to devastating earthquakes. UMGAC could always count on Bishop Juan to encourage education about HIV in the church.

Filipino Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco
Bishop Francisco was among the first Filipino United Methodist leaders to lend his good name and leadership to efforts to stymie the progression of HIV in the Philippines. Whenever a United Methodist conference on HIV and AIDS was proposed, he was always willing to endorse the efforts and be a speaker when possible. Plus, he served on crucial international committees that sought to hold the United Methodist Church together, when others in the Philippines and elsewhere were trying to make it less inclusive and less welcoming to all persons.

Katherine Kim, of San Jose, California
Ms. Kim is a retired pharmacist, deaconess, and social worker. An immigrant from South Korea, she served as pharmacist with Kaiser Permanente Medical Group for 36 years prior to her retirement. A leader in United Methodist Women (now called United Women in Faith), she was elected three times to the United Methodist General Conference (once as delegate; twice as reserve). She volunteered for many short-term mission service programs (“Ubuntu” Journeys) with UMW members. I Thessalonians 5:16 is a guiding Scripture passage for her: “Be joyful always. Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Twenty years ago, Ms. Kim chose to remain anonymous, but when the General Conference started the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund in 2004, she made the first gift! She gave an unsolicited gift of $10,000 in 2004, before the program officially began. Her quiet discipleship led her to encourage other friends to contribute both to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund and the Center for Health and Hope. Beyond the headlines and publicity, she reached out to those who marginalized and stigmatized by HIV and AIDS.

Previous Leadership Award Recipients:

  • Dr. Pauline Muchina, Eldoret, Kenya, UNAIDS Technical Advisor
  • Dr. Kent Millard, Indianapolis, Indiana, retired senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
  • Linda Bales-Todd, Washington, D.C., Director of the Louise and Hugh Moore Population Project of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
  • President George and Laura Bush, Dallas, Texas
  • Bishop Fritz and Etta Mae Mutti, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dr. Musa Dube, Gaborone, Botswana
  • Dr. Donald E. Messer, Centennial, Colorado
  • Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Sunny Brown Farley 903.574.1309