Asbury Theological Seminary announces E. Dale Locke, M.Div. ’88 and D.Min. ‘01, as the 2017 Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Each year, Asbury Seminary recognizes a graduate whose ministry exemplifies faithfulness, servant-leadership, sacrifice, holiness and Kingdom vision.

“The nominations allow us to see the fruit of a ‘well-trained, sanctified, Spirit-filled evangelistic ministry spreading scriptural holiness throughout the world,” Tammy Cessna, Director of Alumni and Church Relations at Asbury Seminary, said.

Dale is Founding and Lead Pastor of Community of Hope – a United Methodist Congregation. Community of Hope is a multi-site campus serving Palm Beach County Florida. Community of Hope started with eight people in the Locke’s living room in the fall of 1996, and currently worships in six-weekend services in two locations each weekend. Weekend attendance averages approximately 2000 people, with more than 1700 in weekly small groups.

In 2016 and 2017, Community of Hope was named the second fastest growing United Methodist Church in the U.S.

Dale is also an Elder in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

 “I’m humbled to be chosen for this recognition, especially when I consider past honorees, and so many of my friends also deserving,” Dale said. “My time as Asbury Seminary impacted my life in immeasurable ways, and remains one of the greatest seasons of my life.  When I consider God’s blessing upon our church, I know much of this is due to the amazing team I work with, many of whom are Asbury graduates.”

 Dale is married to the former Beth Ann Moore. The two met at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore where Beth also received her Master’s Degree in Christian Education in 1988. They have two children, Haley Anne, who is a current M. Div. Student at Asbury Seminary and will graduate in May 2018; and Shelley Susannah, who is in her senior year as an Advertising Major at Texas Tech University.

As a native Floridian, Dale enjoys going to the beach, woodworking, running, and rooting in vain for the Florida Gators and the Atlanta Braves.

 The Distinguished Alumni recipient is nominated by peers who have seen and been influenced by the ministry of an Asbury Seminary alumni. Nominations are solicited through the Alumni Link and Facebook. A committee composed of 12 alumni council members, staff and faculty receive all nominations and vote for their top choices. The award is designed to honor alumni who, in both their personal and public ministries, exhibit the Seminary’s values of a theologically educated, sanctified, spirit-filled, evangelistic ministry that spreads scriptural holiness across the world.