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ABILENE, Texas – Richard Petree, a 1970 graduate of McMurry, has been chosen as the 2012 recipient of the McMurry University Cross & Flame Award representing the Northwest Texas Annual Conference. He will be honored at Pioneer Memorial United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. The church is located at 7425 S. FM 126 in Merkel, TX.

Established in 2000 by the McMurry Alumni Association, this award is given to strengthen the relationship between McMurry University and the United Methodist Church by recognizing individuals for service to their churches and to the University.

Petree has been an active member of the United Methodist Church for 51 years. Growing up in Abilene, he attended Caps United Methodist Church. He graduated from McMurry College in 1970 with a BBA in General Business/Management. While a student at McMurry, he served as the Youth Minister at Elmwood West United Methodist Church for one year, and after graduating returned for three more years from 1972 through 1974. He later became a bi-vocational minister and was appointed pastor to Pioneer Memorial United Methodist Church in Mulberry Canyon in 1991. In 1993 he also accepted the invitation to pastor Nolan United Methodist Church in Nolan County. He served both of those congregations faithfully for seven years before taking a sabbatical to allow our children to be part of the children and youth ministries at First United Methodist Church in Abilene.

While a member of First UMC, he served as an Ambassador for McMurry and also co-taught the college age Sunday School Class. After moving to the Wylie School District and changing church memberships to Wylie United Methodist Church, he also served as an Ambassador for McMurry in that congregation and taught the Seniors Class. In 2006 he once again answered the call to pastor Nolan and Pioneer Memorial Methodist Churches, where he currently preaches every Sunday.

Additionally, Petree has served the United Methodist Church by serving on the Board at Butman United Methodist Encampment from 1988 to the present, and was Chairman of the Board in 2007 and 2008 and Vice-Chairman from 2009 to the present. He also served as a Board Member and Treasurer of the Sears Methodist Retirement Systems from 1988 to 2004. He is a member of the Big Country Emmaus Community where he was the community spiritual director and has been the Spiritual Director for numerous Walks to Emmaus.

Petree outwardly shows his support of McMurry students by attending a variety of events – from athletic to theater to fundraisers to other special events and provides for McMurry athletes, as well, by giving not only of the resources he has earned, but through gifts from his inheritance from his mother, Evelyn Petree, who was also a proud McMurry graduate.