Three of the 2021 SAGE Awards recipients — Ernie Bacon and Dr. James & Mrs. Phyllis Hildreth — are active United Methodists in the Tennessee Conference. Sponsored by AgeWell Middle Tennessee, the awards honor older adults who have improved the quality of life in communities and organizations that have made a significant and positive impact on the lives of older adults in Middle Tennessee.

Ernie Bacon, a member of the Franklin First United Methodist Church and former senior corporate executive with several healthcare companies, has engaged in many areas of outstanding ministry in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee. In an effort to create space for families and preserve historic land, he was key to the acquisition of two major land parcels, which became the Park at Harlinsdale Farm and the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park.

Dr. James and Phyllis Hildreth are members of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church in Nashville. Dr. Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College, was instrumental in helping develop vaccines during the COVID pandemic. Active in many community organizations, Phyllis Hildreth is vice president for Institutional Strategy and Academics at American Baptist College and is the college’s liaison to the Nashville HBCU Consortium. She is also adjunct professor for Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management and Institute for Law, Justice, and Society.

Other 2021 SAGE Award recipients are: Charlie Strobel, Tim Takacs, John Hood, and the organizations Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center and West End Home Foundation.

Since 1991, the Sage Awards have been AgeWell’s premier annual fundraiser. The proceeds support the agency’s mission to champion informed and positive aging and serve as the area’s catalyst for collaborative solutions.