North Central honors The Rev. Thomas Babler with Wall of Witness recognition

Oct 01, 2014

North Central College is honoring The Rev. Thomas Babler of Naperville with a Wall of Witness recognition during Homecoming.

Babler and four others will be honored during the College’s Homecoming Reunion Celebration from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the College’s Residence Hall/Recreation Center, 440 S. Brainard St.

North Central’s Wall of Witness recognizes alumni of the College and/or Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) for their lives of witness to their faith and service to humanity. Names of honorees are displayed in Kiekhofer Hall, which houses the College’s Koten Chapel and is the former home of the seminary.

A 1969 graduate of North Central College, Babler has dedicated his life to ministry and leadership in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to his retirement in 2012, he led congregations in the Illinois communities of LaMoille (Community United Methodist), Ottawa (Epworth United Methodist Church), Aurora (Bethany of Fox Valley), Naperville (Community United Methodist) and Sandwich (United Church of Sandwich).

As a visible member of the clergy in these communities, Babler would embrace leadership opportunities to better those communities. He served on the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on Gambling in the City of Aurora in the 1980s, coordinated programs for the Naperville Ministerium/Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association, and worked actively as a volunteer with DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS). Internationally, his ministry work and study resulted in travel to Singapore, Africa and Jerusalem.

Throughout his career, he has remained involved with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he received his master of divinity degree in 1973. He has been on the board of trustees there for 40 years and currently holds the title Life Trustee. Babler received a distinguished alumnus award from Garrett in 1997 and continues to be involved as an adjunct faculty member, leading a group focused on vocation formation and church leadership. Mentoring in the ministry is his passion.

At North Central College, Babler and his wife Mary are loyal and generous supporters of the Albright-Wesley Society and enjoy campus events. He assisted with the search in 2014 to hire a new campus chaplain and helped plan the Inauguration Worship Service for President Troy D. Hammond in May 2013. Mary completed her undergraduate studies at North Central in 1970 and earned a master’s degree from North Central College in 1998.

Babler and Mary are the parents of three adult children.

Others being honored during North Central’s Homecoming are Outstanding Alumni Award recipients Becky Anderson of Naperville, Jeff Swallow of Naperville and William Gossell of Farmers Branch, Texas. Wade Hicks of Framingham, Mass., will receive an Alumni Recognition Award.