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Lake County Sentinel
Painesville's Rev. Gerard Mirbel to receive MLK Commission Award  

Governor Mike DeWine will join the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission Thursday to recognize Painesville's Rev. Gerard Mirbel during its 35th annual Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration. Mirbel will receive the Governor's Humanitarian Award, which recognizes those who have given their time and service to those in need and promote the welfare of humanity and elimination of pain and suffering through their selfless service.

Mirbel is among six individuals and one organization to be honored during the noon ceremony at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus for their work to serve others and lift the oppressed in communities across Ohio.

"These Ohioans reflect a life similar to that of Dr. King's, filled with a passion to create positive changes within their communities," said DeWine. "Each of these awardees selflessly serve others and continue to make Ohio a great state."  

The 12-member commission advocates Dr. King's principles of nonviolent change and the pursuit of racial, social and economic justice, and annually hosts the award ceremony in January leading up to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

"These outstanding Ohioans remind us that Dr. King's dream of inclusion, social justice and service to the common good remains alive and is flourishing in communities across the state," said Will Lucas, chair of the commission. "They are an inspiration to us all to join our neighbors in continuing to spread Dr. King's message of equality for generations to come."

Mirbel is president of the Ministers Alliance Fellowship in Painesville where he is pastor of Miracle Revival Ministry Assemblies of God Church. He and his wife, Jacqueline, serve the less fortunate in a variety of ways through his church. They also do missionary work in his native Haiti.

His church provides spiritual and physical nourishment to their community. They provide a free breakfast and lunch each Sunday, hold free community dinners and distribute fresh produce twice a month, as well as bread and pastries weekly. They also operate an emergency food pantry.

In Haiti, the Mirbels helped replace a school destroyed in the 2010 earthquake with a temporary structure for about 350 students. The Mirbels and seven team members returned in 2013 to build a chicken farm, the profits of which are being used to pay teachers and eventually build a more permanent school building.

According to the nomination, "Rev. Mirbel, to many, is a refreshing light in their world of darkness, a light kindled by love in a world of selfishness, one frankly that is often filled with hatred and bigotry."

The Equal Opportunity Division of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services provides administrative support to the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission
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​POSTED 01/17/2020 17:46